On the evening of the 30th of September, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued guidelines of the Unlock 5.0., in India.
The guidelines issued would be effective from the 1st of October.
The guidelines were issued at a time when the Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 cases are rising with 80,000 plus new cases.
Despite a steep rise in COVID-19 cases, the home ministry has made it clear that there would be more relaxations and fewer restrictions.
Here are the guidelines:
* Cinemas/ theatres/ multiplexes will be permitted to open with upto 50% of their seating capacity, for which, SOP will be issued by the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting soon.
* Business to Business (B2B) Exhibitions will be permitted to open, for which, SOP will be issued by the Department of Commerce.
* Swimming pools being used for training of sportspersons would be permitted to open, for which the standard operating procedure (SOP) will be issued by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports (MoYA&S.)
* Entertainment parks and similar places will be permitted to open, for which the SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW).
Opening of Schools, colleges, education institutions and coaching institutions.
* For re opening of schools and coaching institutions, State/ UT Governments have been given the flexibility to take a decision after the 15th of October 2020 in a graded manner. The decision should be taken in consultation with the respective school/ institution management, based on their assessment of the situation, and subject to the following conditions:
* Online/ distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged.
* Where schools are conducting online classes, and some students prefer to attend online classes rather than physically attend school, they may be permitted to do so.
* Students may attend schools/ institutions only with the written consent of parents.
* Attendance must not be enforced, and must depend entirely on parental consent.
* States /UTs will prepare their own SOP regarding health and safety precautions for reopening of schools/ institutions based on the SOP to be issued by Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL), Ministry of Education, Government of India, keeping local requirements in view.
* Schools, which are allowed to open, will have to mandatorily follow the SOP to be issued by Education Departments of States/ UTs.
The Department of Higher Education (DHE), Ministry of Education may take a decision on the timing of the opening of Colleges/ Higher Education Institutions, in consultation with Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), based on the assessment of the situation. Online/ distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged.
Unlock 5.0 is likely to become the most crucial as a number of religious festivals are scheduled in October, including Durga Puja.
Meanwhile, the first phase of Bihar Assembly Election 2020 is scheduled on 28th of October.
The Centre is likely to revise its order pertaining to the maximum number of people who can gather at a place.
The phase wise unlocking began in June with only a few essential activities beginning outside the containment zones. Over the last four months, offices, public transport including metro, domestic flights, religious places, restaurants, hotels, gyms, schools and colleges have been allowed to resume activities, though the state governments concerned are the final authorities.
However, the government of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have extended lockdown till the 31st of October.
Stay tuned for further updates.