The Centre on Tuesday extended the “Unlock 5” guidelines, released in September, till November 30. The government has not made any new changes in the guidelines.

In a statement, the Ministry of Home Affairs said it will take a decision regarding certain places involving large crowds on the basis of an assessment of the situation. In the last guidelines, the Centre had allowed the gradual reopening of schools, restarted operation of cinema halls and other places having a “higher degree of risk of Covid-19 infection” with restrictions.

The ministry said that the reason behind the graded reopening was to move forward but cautioned that it did not mean that the pandemic was over. It called upon citizens to adhere to Covid-19 appropriate behaviour and follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Jan Andolan” mantra, including wearing a mask properly, washing hands regularly and maintaining a physical distance of six feet.

“There is an urgent need to instill a sense of discipline and ownership amongst citizens in order that the resumption of activities is successful and gains made in the management of the pandemic are not diluted,” the statement said, adding that chief secretaries and administrators of states and Union Territories have been instructed to implement such behaviour at the grassroots level.

‘Unlock 5’ guidelines

The Ministry of Home Affairs had on September 30 allowed cinema halls to reopen at 50% capacity, and permitted states to take a call on opening of schools from October 15. Besides this, swimming pools used for training of sportspersons were also allowed to reopen from the same date.

The government had also eased restrictions on public gatherings and said states could allow social, cultural and religious congregations of more than 100 people. The government had extended the lockdown in containment zones till the end of October, which has now been extended till November 31. State governments were not permitted from imposing any localised lockdown outside of containment zones.

It had said that international travel, except as permitted by the Centre, will continue to remain suspended and entertainment parks would also remain closed.

A complete lockdown in India was first imposed from March 25 due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. It has been relaxed considerably over the past four months and the Centre has given permission for many economic activities to resume.

The government had also said that there would be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods and no separate permission was required for such movements. It had advised vulnerable people such as those above 65 years of age, with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children under 10 years to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes. Further, people were encouraged to use Aarogya Setu app.

In the fourth phase of the calibrated exit strategy, the government had allowed the resumption of Metro services from September 7 in a graded manner. The Centre had also relaxed travel restrictions and said inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods will not be prohibited now. No separate permission or approval or e-permit is now required for such movements.

India’s coronavirus count rose to 79,46,429 on Tuesday as it reported 36,470 new cases in a day. The country’s toll rose by 488 to 1,19,502. India’s active cases stood at 6,25,857, while the number of recoveries reached 72,01,070.