Schools, colleges, metro rail services, cinema halls and bars will continue to remain closed till August 31, according to the new guidelines the Union government issued on Wednesday (July 29). Political and religious gatherings too will remain prohibited though the Centre has allowed some more activities to resume in areas outside containment zones.
Gymnasiums and yoga institutes have been allowed to open from August 5, for the first time in over four months since the nationwide lockdown came into force on March 25, as per the Unlock 3 guidelines. A separate Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by the Union health ministry for gyms and yoga schools.
After extensive consultation with the states and union territories, it has been decided that schools, colleges and coaching institutions will remain closed till August 31, the Ministry of Home Affairs said in a statement. However, restrictions on movement of individuals during night (night curfew) have been removed, according to the ministry.
The Unlock 3 guidelines will come into force from August 1 and strict enforcement of lockdown in containment zones will continue till August 31. Among the prohibited activities are metro rail services, cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places.
Social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions and other large congregations will also continue to be prohibited till August 31. All activities, except these, shall be permitted outside the containment zones. Dates for opening of these will be decided separately, based on the assessment of the situation, the home ministry said.
Independence Day functions will be allowed with social distancing and by following other health protocols, e.g., wearing of masks etc.
International air travel of passengers has been permitted in a limited manner under the Vande Bharat mission. Further opening up will take place in a calibrated manner, it said.
The MHA said the new guidelines were based on feedback received from the states and UTs, and extensive consultations held with related central ministries and departments.
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.
Movement by passenger trains and ‘Shramik’ special trains; domestic passenger air travel; movement of Indian nationals stranded outside the country and of specified persons to travel abroad; evacuation of foreign nationals; and sign-on and sign-off of Indian seafarers will continue to be regulated as per SOPs issued.
Containment zones are required to be carefully demarcated by state and UT governments with a view to contain the spread of Covid-19, 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.
These containment zones will be notified on the websites of the respective district collectors and by the states and UTs. The information will also be shared with the health ministry.
States will decide on activities outside containment zones. Based on their assessment of the situation, the states and UTs may prohibit certain activities outside the containment zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary.
Shops will need to maintain adequate physical distancing among customers. Vulnerable persons like those 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 use of Aarogya Setu mobile application will continue to be encouraged.
‘At Home’ functions on Independence day, wherever held, will be allowed with social distancing and by following other health protocols like wearing of masks. In weddings, the number of guests should not exceed 50. In funeral and last rites related gatherings, the number of people should not be more than 20.
Consumption of liquor, paan, gutka and tobacco in public places continues to be prohibited.