Unlock 5.0: Centre extends guidelines for re-opening till Nov 30; no new changes this time


MHA asked people to exercise extreme caution and PM Modi’s Jan Aandolan launched earlier this month and to fight the coronavirus pandemic

The Centre on Tuesday extended the guidelines for re-opening the country as per Unlock 4.0 issued last month till November 30. There are no new changes in the norms under Unlock 5.0 and all major activities have already been allowed. The government directed to implement strict lockdown in containment zones.

The latest guidelines from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) also asked people to exercise extreme caution and follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Jan Aandolan launched earlier this month and to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Here are the details of the re-opening guidelines:

Re-opening of activities outside containment zones

Almost all activities have been gradually opened up in areas outside containment zones since the first order on lockdown measures by the MHA on March 24. While most activities have been permitted, some involving large gatherings have been allowed with some restrictions and subject to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) regarding health and safety precautions being followed. These activities include Metro rail, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants and hospitality services, religious places, yoga and training institutes, gymnasiums, cinemas, entertainment park etc.

In respect of certain activities, having relatively higher degree of risk of COVID infection, state/ UT Governments have been permitted to take decisions for their re-opening, based on the assessment of the situation and subject to SOPs. These activities include – schools and coaching institutes; State and private universities for research scholars; allowing gatherings above the limit of 100 etc.

Activities permitted but with certain restrictions:

Decision regarding certain activities will be taken based on the assessment of the situation, said the MHA. They are:

1) International air travel of passengers as permitted by MHA

2) Swimming pools being used for training of sportspersons

3) Exhibitions halls for business to business (B2B) purposes

4) Cinemas, theatres and multiplexes up to 50 percent of their seating capacity

Social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, political functions and other congregations, in closed spaces with a maximum of 50 percent of the hall capacity and subject to a ceiling of 200 people.

COVID-19 appropriate behaviour

The MHA has already advised chief secretaries and administrators of all states and Union territories that they should endeavour to promote COVID-19 appropriate behaviour “extensively at the grass-root level and take measures to enforce the wearing of masks, hand hygiene and social distancing.”

The essence behind graded re-opening and progressive resumption of activities is to move ahead. However, it does not mean the end of the pandemic. There is a need to exercise abundant caution by adopting COVID-19 appropriate behaviour by every citizen in their daily routine, the MHA said in its guidelines.

“A ‘Jan Andolan’ was launched by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on 8th October 2020 on COVID-19 appropriate behaviour to follow three mantras, namely: wear your mask properly; wash your hands frequently; and maintain a safe distance of 6 feet,” it added.

National directives for COVID-19 management

The national directives for COVID-19 management, the MHA said, will continue to be followed throughout the country, so as to enforce COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.

Strict enforcement of lockdown in containment zones

Lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones till November 30

Containment zones shall be demarcated by district authorities after taking into consideration the guidelines of the Union health ministry with the objective of effectively breaking the chain of transmission. Strict containment measures will be enforced in these containment zones and only essential activities will be allowed.

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/ UTs and information will also be shared with the health ministry.

States can’t impose lockdown outside containment zones

States and UTs will not impose any local lockdown on the state, district, sub-division, city or village level outside the containment zones without prior consultation with the central government.

No restriction on inter- and intra-state movement

There shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods. There is no separate permission, approval or e-permit need for such movements.

Protection of vulnerable people

Vulnerable people or those above 65 years of age, 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.

Aarogya Setu

The use of Aarogya Setu mobile application will continue to be encouraged, the MHA said.

Image credit: The Hindu

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