Unlock 4: MHA Issues Guidelines, Lockdown Extended In Containment Zones Till  September 30

SRINAGAR: The Ministry of Home Affairs today announced the fresh guidelines for Unlock 4 plan. Under the guidelines, lockdown will be extended in the country till 30 September. However, the lockdown will only be applicable in the containment zones, it said.

“The new guidelines, issued today, are based on feedback received from States and UTs, and extensive consultations held with related Central Ministries and Departments,” the Centre said in a statement.

In a major development, metro rail will be allowed to operate with effect from September 7 in a graded manner, by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MOHUA)/ Ministry of Railways (MOR), in consultation with MHA, the statement said.

Earlier, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had laid out a slew of the measure before the resumption of the metro services in the national capital. Limiting a number of people in lifts and longer halting time for trains at stations to allow commuters to board and alight with social distancing norms, are among the measures the Delhi Metro will take to ensure safer travel for its passengers.

Furthermore, schools, colleges, Educational and coaching institutions to remain closed; states and UTs may permit 50% of teaching staff to come to schools for online teaching from Sept 21. Students of Class 9-12 can voluntarily visit schools, with parents’ written consent.

Moreover, higher education institutions only for research scholars (Ph.D.) and post-graduate students of technical and professional programmes requiring laboratory/ experimental works will be allowed in the new guidelines. “These will be permitted by the Department of Higher Education (ME) in consultation with MHA, based on the assessment of the situation, and keeping in view incidence of COVID-19 in the States/ UTs,” MHA said in a statement.

Social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, political functions and other congregations will be permitted with a ceiling of 100 persons, from 21 September, it further stated.

There shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods. No separate permission or approval, e-permit will be required for such movements, the guidelines further stated.

Cinema halls, swimming pools, theatres and similar places to remain closed. However open air theatres permitted to open from September 21.

However, all activities will be allowed outside containment zones which were earlier permitted by the authorities in the earlier guidelines such as shopping malls, barber shops etc.

Skill or Entrepreneurship training will be permitted in National Skill Training Institutes, Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), Short term training centres registered with National Skill Development Corporation or State Skill Development Missions or other Ministries of Government of India or State Governments.

The ministry of health and family welfare will issue the required standard operating procedure for senior school students, school staff and higher education students in due course.

International air travel will be suspended until further notice, except as permitted by MHA.

Guidelines for containment zones:

According to the order, lockdown in containment zones will remain imposed till 30 September 2020. These virus containment zones need to be carefully demarcated by the state governments or UTs.

Within the perimeters of containment zones, strict social distancing and other norms of containing the spread of the virus shall be maintained and only essential activities will be allowed, MHA said in a statement.

These containment zones will be notified on the websites of respective district collectors of the states and UTs and activities taking place in these zones will be strictly monitored by the authorities.

However, local governments shall not impose any local lockdown (State/ District/ sub-division/City/ village level), outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the Central Government, the government said in a statement.

The use of Aarogya Setu app will be encouraged in the new unlock period.

India went under a complete nationwide lockdown from 25 March in order to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country. In an attempt to bring back normalcy, the MHA has been issuing a number of guidelines in its Unlock India mission in order to provide relaxations in a graded manner and kickstart the economy.

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