Unlock 5.0: Cinemas, parks and swimming pools to open on Oct 15

The decision has been taken as part of the government’s plan to restart economic activities

Cinemas-mask
Cinema halls can operate with 50% occupancy. | Representational pic

Schools, cinema halls, multiplexes, entertainment parks, swimming pools — all outside containment zones — will reopen from tomorrow (October 15) with strict norms in place.

The second phase (first phase started on October 1) of Unlock 5 comes at a time when the overall COVID-19 fatality rate stands at 17.9 per cent for those with comorbidities and 1.2 per cent for those without co-morbid conditions, according to the Union Health Ministry data. Overall deaths due to infection in India remains at 1.5 per cent of the total confirmed cases.

While schools had reopened partially and voluntary for classes 9 to 12 on September 21, as part of Unlock 4, other places were not allowed to open.

The latest set of relaxations for different institutions is as follows:

Schools: Though the Centre had approved phase-wise reopening of schools, the final decision is left to the respective state governments. Most states, including Delhi and Maharashtra, have decided not to reopen schools for now; others like Punjab and Uttar Pradesh have announced reopening of schools from October 15 and October 19 respectively.

Broad guidelines for reopening of schools include priority to online/distance learning, written permission from parents to attend classes, flexibility in attendance and no assessment for up to three weeks.

Cinema halls/multiplexes: Can reopen with 50% occupancy with adequate physical distancing while seating. Seats which are not to be occupied shall have to be marked as such. Show timings shall be staggered and digital payment modes will be encouraged.

Entertainment parks: Cleaning and sanitisation of frequently touches surfaces, open spaces, work areas etc. shall be done before the parks open and after they close for the day, as well as at other appropriate times. There must be separate covered bins for disposal of used face masks and covers.

Also read: States stay guarded, not in any hurry to reopen schools

Further, the park authorities will have to deploy adequate security personnel for queue management inside and outside the premises.

Swimming pools: The SOPs for reopening swimming pools, as released by the sports ministry, state that a maximum of only 20 swimmers can train during a session in an Olympic-sized pool. While swimmers have been directed to submit ‘obligatory self-declaration,’ residential trainees will have to submit a mandatory Covid-19 negative report.

Each training centre will have a Covid-19 task force to guide and monitor trainees, coaches and staff.

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