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Home Ministry issues new guidelines for reopening of prohibited activities

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Home Ministry today issued new guidelines for reopening of prohibited activities in areas outside containment zones in a phased manner. The nationwide lockdown in containment zones has been extended up to 30th of next month, while guidelines have permitted phased reopening outside these zones.

Under the new guidelines, in phase one, the activities which will be allowed from the 8th of next month are religious places of worship for public, hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality services and shopping malls.

Union Health Ministry will issue SOPs for these activities, in consultation with the Central Ministries and Departments concerned and other stakeholders for ensuring social distancing and to contain the spread of COVID-19.

In phase two, schools, colleges, educational, training, and coaching institutions will be opened after consultation with States and Union Territories. State Governments and Union Territory administrations are being advised to hold consultation at the institution level with parents and other stakeholders. Based on the feedback, a decision on the re-opening of these institutions will be taken in the month of July this year.

Under the new guidelines, only a limited number of activities will remain prohibited throughout the country. These activities are international air travel of passengers, operation of metro rail, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls, and similar places. Social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions, and other large congregation will also be prohibited. In phase three, the dates for the opening of these activities will be decided based on an assessment of the situation.

The Home Ministry said lockdown will continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones. These will be demarcated by the State and Union Territory governments after taking into consideration the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry.

Within the containment zones, strict perimeter control will be maintained and only essential activities allowed. The night curfew will continue to remain in force, on the movement of individuals, for all non-essential activities. However, the revised timings of the curfew will be from 9 PM to 5 AM across the nation.

The new guidelines say that there will be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods and no separate permission, approval, and e-permit will be required for such movements. However, if a State or UT, based on reasons of public health and its assessment of the situation, proposes to regulate the movement of persons, it will give wide publicity in advance regarding the restrictions to be placed on such movement, and the related procedures to be followed.

States and Union Territories, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the Containment zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary.

Vulnerable persons like persons 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. (AIR NEWS)

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