Unlock 5: Cinema theatres to reopen; gatherings beyond 100 people allowed

States and UT governments have been given the flexibility to decide on reopening schools and coaching institutions after October 15 in a graded manner, and social, religious and political gatherings beyond the limit of 100 persons are permitted, subject to certain conditions

Cinemas, theatres and multiplexes can open with up to 50 per cent of their seating capacity from October 15, for which the SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Photo: PTI

The Union Home Ministry on Wednesday (September 30) issued new guidelines permitting more activities in areas outside containment zones that include opening up cinemas, theatres and multiplexes with up to 50 per cent of their seating capacity from October 15.

States and UT governments have been given the flexibility to decide on reopening schools and coaching institutions after October 15 in a graded manner, and permitting social, religious and political gatherings beyond the limit of 100 persons, subject to certain conditions.

The lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in containment zones till October 31, the ministry said.

The home ministry reiterated that states will not impose any local lockdown outside the containment zones without prior consultation with the central government.

The new guidelines are based on feedback received from states and UTs, and extensive consultations held with related central ministries and departments, the statement said.

Here is a list of all the activities permitted/not permitted:

  1. Cinemas, theatres and multiplexes can open with up to 50 per cent of their seating capacity from October 15, for which the SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

2. Business to Business (B2B) Exhibitions will be permitted and the SOP will be issued by the Department of Commerce.

3. Swimming pools being used for training of sportspersons will be allowed to open for which the standard operating procedure (SOP) will be issued by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

4. Entertainment parks and similar places will also be permitted to open from October 15. The SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in this regard.

5. State and UT governments have been given the flexibility to permit social, religious and political gatherings beyond the limit of 100 persons, outside containment zones, after October 15. However, they will be subject to certain conditions like a maximum of 50 per cent of the hall capacity with a ceiling of 200 persons and mandatory wearing of face masks.

6. Guidelines for reopening of educational institutions:

For the re-opening of schools and coaching institutions, State and UT governments can decide to do so after October 15, in a graded manner. The decision shall be taken in consultation with the respective school and institution management, based on their assessment of the situation, and subject to certain conditions, it said.

Online or distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged, the ministry said. Where schools are conducting online classes, if some students prefer to attend online classes rather than physically attend school, they may be permitted to do so.

Students may attend schools and institutions only with the written consent of parents. Attendance must not be enforced, and must depend entirely on parental consent, the home ministry said. Schools which are allowed to open will have to mandatorily follow the SOP to be issued by education departments of states and UTs.

Department of Higher Education under the Ministry of Education may take a decision on the timing of the opening of colleges and higher education institutions, in consultation with the home ministry, based on the assessment of the situation, the ministry said. Online and distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged.

However, higher education institutions only for research scholars (Ph.D.) and post-graduate students in the science and technology stream requiring laboratory and experimental works will be permitted to open from October 15.

For centrally funded higher education institutions, the head of the institution will satisfy herself or himself that there is a genuine requirement of research scholars (Ph.D.) and post-graduate students in the science and technology stream for laboratory and experimental works.

For all other higher education institutions e.g. state universities, private universities, etc., they may open only for research scholars (Ph.D.) and postgraduate students in the science and technology stream requiring laboratory and experimental works as per decision to be taken by the respective State and UT governments.

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