NEW DELHI: The nationwide coronavirus lockdown was on Saturday extended to June 30 but with major relaxations, the Home Ministry announced.
However, the Centre made it clear that the lockdown will be limited to containment zones where only essential services and activities will be allowed. For the rest of the country, all activities, barring a few such as international travel, will be allowed in a phase-wise manner.
These activities will be allowed in three stages, the ministry said, adding that each activity would only be allowed if SOPs issued by the Health Ministry were followed.
Religious places, hotels, shopping malls and restaurants will re-open in the first phase from June 8.
Night curfew for non-essential activities and movement of individuals shall remain in place but the timings of curfew has been revised from 9 pm-5 am from the existing 7 pm-7am. "The current phase of re-opening, Unlock 1, will have an economic focus," the home ministry said.
From 01.06.2020— Spokesperson, Ministry of Home Affairs (@PIBHomeAffairs) May 30, 2020
●Within Containment Zones, #Lockdown restrictions to continue till 30.06.2020
●#Unlock1 All activities to be relaxed in phased manner outside containment zones, as per @MoHFW_INDIA guidelines
●States may impose restrictions/prohibit activities as per assessment pic.twitter.com/LDbmvf6Gfa
The new guidelines have been issued based on extensive consultations held with States and Union Territories, the ministry further said.
All activities banned earlier will be opened up in areas outside containment zones in a phased manner, with SOPs to be prescribed by the Health Ministry.
A decision on reopening of educational institutions such as schools, colleges, and training institutes will be taken in July, after consultations with states, parents and other stakeholders. The reopening of educational institutes will be covered in phase-2.
International flights, metro rail services, cinema halls, gyms, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, and bars will remain non-functional for now. These activities/services will be allowed only after more consultations, "based on the assessment of the situation", said the ministry, adding that these activities will be covered in phase-3 of the easing the shutdown.
Social, political, religious, cultural, and other gatherings will remain banned for now. As was the case earlier, not more than 20 and 50 people will be allowed in funerals and weddings.
In containment zones, only essential activities will be allowed until June 30. Exits and entry will be strictly controlled and there will be intensive contact tracing and house-to-house surveillance in these areas, the center said.
There will be no restrictions on the movement of people or goods within states and between states.
India went into strict lockdown on March 25 to contain the spread of coronavirus. Since then, there have been three extensions with the incremental easing of curbs. This is the fourth extension of the lockdown.
The total number of COVID-19 cases has crossed 1.7 lakh and there have been close to 5,000 deaths.