Unlock 2: More flights, trains, but no schools and colleges till Jul 31
New Delhi, Jun 30
The Centre on Monday issued guidelines for Unlock Phase II, beginning from July 1, with relaxations in night curfew, provision for more domestic flights and trains, and clearance for more than five people in a shop.
However, schools, colleges and other educational institutions will remain closed till July 31, and Metro rail, multiplexes, gyms, swimming pools, bars and auditoriums will stay shut until further orders.
An order issued by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla said that as per the instructions of the National Disaster Management Authority, more activities were being allowed in a calibrated manner in areas outside containment zones. Inside containment zones, lockdown measures have been extended till July 31.
States are free to put more restrictions they deem necessary, though they can’t seal borders. “States/UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the containment zones… However, there shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods including those for cross land-border trade under treaties with neighbouring countries. No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit will be required for such movements,” the guidelines say.
“International air travel has been permitted in a limited manner under the Vande Bharat mission. Further opening up will take place in a calibrated manner,” it said.
Night curfew will now be from 10 pm to 5 am, instead of 9 pm to 5 am. The Home Ministry order said this was being done for “seamless operation of industrial units in multiple shifts, movement of persons and goods on National and State Highways, loading and unloading of cargo and movement of persons to their destinations after disembarking from buses, trains and airplanes”.
Depending upon their size and ability to ensure physical distancing, shops can now have more than five persons at a time.
About educational institutions, the guidelines issued on Monday say, “After extensive consultation with States and UTs, it has been decided that schools, colleges and coaching institutions will remain closed till July 31.” The guidelines issued on May 30 had said a decision on opening of schools and colleges would be taken in July.
Training institutes of both Central and State Governments, however, can function July 15 onwards. “SOP in this regard will be issued by the Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India,” the order said.
Despite requests from States such as Delhi, the Centre has not given green signal to operation of Metro services.
Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums and similar places shall also remain shut.
Also prohibited are “social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions and other large congregations”. “Dates for re-starting the above activities may be decided separately and necessary SOPs shall be,” the guidelines say.
For containment zones, the MHA has detailed guidelines this time. Extending lockdown for them till end of July, the guidelines say, “Containment zones will be demarcated by the district authorities after taking into consideration the guidelines of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) with the objective of effectively breaking the chain of transmission.”
Only essential activities will be allowed in containment zones, with strict perimeter control. “… there shall be intensive contact tracing, house-to-house surveillance, and other clinical interventions, as required,” the guidelines say.
Other guidelines with regard to wearing of masks, expected measures at workplace and use of Aarogya Setu app have been reiterated as in the past.