Coronavirus | Unlock 5 guidelines extended till November 30

A worker makes markings for voters to ensure social distancing at a polling canter on the eve of the first phase of Bihar Assembly elections in Patna, on October.27, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AP

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday said the “guidelines for reopening” issued last month, permitting cinema halls, entertainment parks and swimming pools for sports persons to open, will continue to be applicable till November 30 in areas outside the containment zones.

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The guidelines issued on September 30 were to be in force till October 31.

The lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones during the period, the MHA said.

Appropriate behaviour

“The essence behind graded reopening and progressive resumption of activities is to move ahead. However, it does not mean the end of the pandemic. There is need to exercise abundant caution by adopting COVID-19 appropriate behaviour by every citizen in their daily routine,” the MHA order said.

The Ministry said it had advised Chief Secretaries and administrators of all States and Union Territories that they “should endeavour to promote COVID-19 appropriate behaviour extensively at the grass roots level and take measures to enforce the wearing of masks, hand hygiene and social distancing.”

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A countrywide lockdown in the wake of the pandemic was first imposed on March 24. It has been relaxed considerably over the past seven months with many economic activities allowed. The total number of COVID-19 cases has surged past 79 lakh and more than 1.19 lakh deaths have been reported.

The guidelines said that international travel, except those permitted by the Centre, would remain shut while the State governments were given the flexibility to decide on reopening of schools and coaching institutions in a graded manner.

The decision is to be taken in consultation with the respective school and institution managements, based on their assessment of the situation, and subject to certain conditions, according to the guidelines.

Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

The activities permitted in areas outside the containment zones were -- cinemas, theatres and multiplexes with up to 50 % of their seating capacity, Business to Business (B2B) exhibitions, swimming pools used for training of sportspersons, entertainment parks and similar places.

Various ministries and departments have issued standard operating procedures for the reopening of activities.

Political gatherings in poll-bound Bihar and those constituencies where by-elections will be held were allowed with an attendance of a maximum of 200 people in a close space or hall and in an open space depending on its size. The political gatherings can be held only outside the containment zones.

The lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones during the period.

State-wise tracker for coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates

Online classes

The MHA said that where schools were conducting online classes, and some students preferred to attend online classes rather than physically attend school, they may be permitted to do so.

Students may attend schools and institutions only with the written consent of parents.

Attendance must not be enforced, and must depend entirely on parental consent, the MHA said.

Also read: Unlock 5.0 | Cinema halls, entertainment parks, swimming pools allowed to open with riders

The Department of Higher Education under the Ministry of Education may take a decision on the timing of the opening of colleges and higher education institutions, in consultation with the MHA, based on the assessment of the situation.

The MHA reiterated that the States would not impose any local lockdown outside the containment zones without prior consultation of the Central government. There would be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 10:14:00 PM |

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