The Centre on Saturday extended the nationwide lockdown to contain the coronavirus pandemic till June 30, but said that all activities will restart in a phased manner outside containment zones. The first phase of this reopening, called Unlock 1, will focus on economic activities.
The Ministry of Home Affairs said that religious places, malls and restaurants can reopen from June 8 in non-containment zones. There are also no restrictions on the inter-state movement of people. The government has also changed night curfew timings. The movement of people will now be prohibited from 9 pm to 5 am.
“Movement of individuals shall remain strictly prohibited between 9 pm and 5 am throughout the country, except for essential activities,” the home ministry said in its order. “Local authorities shall issue orders in the entire area of their jurisdiction, under appropriate provisions of law.”
However, international air travel of passengers, operation of metro services, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, bars and auditoriums will remain closed. The government will take a decision on reopening schools in July.
Wearing of face cover is compulsory in public places, workplaces and during transport. Large gatherings will remain banned, the MHA said, adding that people must continue to work from home if possible.
Here is the complete set of Centre’s guidelines
All activities that were prohibited earlier will be opened up in areas outside Containment Zones in a phased manner, with the stipulation of following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), to be prescribed by the Health Ministry:
- In Phase I, religious places and places of worship for public; hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services; and shopping malls; will be permitted to open from June 8, 2020. Health Ministry will issue SOPs for the above activities, in consultation with the Central Ministries/ Departments concerned and other stakeholders, for ensuring social distancing and to contain the spread of COVID-19.
- In Phase II, schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions etc., will be opened after consultations with States and UTs. State Governments/ UT administrations are being advised to hold consultations at the institution level with parents and other stakeholders. Based on the feedback, a decision on the re-opening of these institutions will be taken in the month of July 2020. MoHFW will prepare SOP for these institutions.
- Only a limited number of activities will remain prohibited throughout the country. These activities are: International air travel of passengers; operation of Metro Rail; cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places; and, social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions/ and other large congregations. In Phase III, dates for their opening will be decided based on assessment of the situation.
- Lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones. These will be demarcated by the State/ UT Governments, after taking into consideration the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry. Within the containment zones, strict perimeter control shall be maintained and only essential activities allowed.
- There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit will be required for such movements. However, if a State/ UT, based on reasons of public health and its assessment of the situation, proposes to regulate movement of persons, it will give wide publicity in advance regarding the restrictions to be placed on such movement, and the related procedures to be followed.
- Night curfew shall continue to remain in force, on the movement of individuals, for all non-essential activities. However, the revised timings of the curfew will be from 9 pm to 5 am.
- States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the Containment zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary.
- Vulnerable persons, i.e., persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, are advised to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes.
- The Aarogya Setu mobile application is a powerful tool built by Government of India to facilitate quick identification of persons infected by COVID-19, or at risk of being infected, thus acting as a shield for individuals and the community. With a view to ensure safety, various authorities are advised to encourage the use of the application.