MHA issues new guidelines; Phased re-opening of all activities outside Containment Zones

New Delhi : The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued new guidelines today, for phased re-opening of areas outside the Containment Zones with effect from June 1, 2020 to be effective till June 30, 2020. The current phase of re-opening, Unlock 1, will have an economic focus. MHA order dated March 24, 2020 imposed a strict lockdown throughout the country and only permitted essential activities. Subsequently, the lockdown measures were relaxed in a graded manner keeping in view objective of containing the spread of COVID-19. New guidelines have been issued today based on extensive consultations held with States and UTs.

In Phase I, religious places and places of worship for public; hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services; and shopping malls; will be permitted to open from June 8, 2020. Health Ministry will issue SOPs for the above activities, in consultation with the Central Ministries/ Departments concerned and other stakeholders, for ensuring social distancing and to contain the spread of COVID-19.

In Phase II, schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions etc., will be opened after consultations with States and UTs. State Governments/ UT administrations are being advised to hold consultations 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, 2020. MoHFW will prepare SOP for these institutions.

In Phase III, dates for opening of remaining prohibited activities throughout the country will be decided based on assessment of the situation. These activities include 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; and, social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions/ and other large congregations.

Lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones. These will be demarcated by the State/ UT Governments, after taking into consideration the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry. Night Curfew shall 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.

-Odisha Age