Unlock 4 allows Metro rail, partial opening of schools outside containment zones
31 August 2020
Ministry of home affairs (MHA) has issued new guidelines for opening up of more activities in areas outside the containment zones. Unlock 4, which will come into effect from 1 September 2020, has further extended the process of phased reopening of activities.
There will be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods. No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit will be required for such movements.
The new guidelines also permit partial opening of schools for standards 9 to 12 and near normal conduct of institutions of higher education outside containment zones.
MHA said the new guidelines, issued today, are based on feedback received from states and union territories, and after extensive consultations with related central ministries and departments.
As per Unlock 4 guidelines, Metro rail will be allowed to operate with effect from 7 September 2020, in a graded manner, by the ministry of housing and urban affairs/ ministry of railways in consultation with the home ministry. MOHOUA will issue the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in this regard.
Social/ academic/ sports/ entertainment/ cultural/ religious/ political functions and other congregations will be permitted with a ceiling of 100 persons, with effect from 21 September 2020. However, such limited gatherings can be held with mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitiser.
Open air theatres will be permitted to function with effect from 21 September 2020.
Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will continue to remain closed for students and regular academic activity till 30 September 2020. Online/distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged.
However, states/ UTs may permit up to 50 per cent of teaching and non-teaching staff to be called to the schools at a time for online teaching/ tele-counselling and related work, in areas outside the containment zones only, with effect from 21 September 2020. The ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) will issue the SOP for this.
Students of classes 9 to 12 may be permitted to visit their schools in areas outside the containment zones, on voluntary basis, for taking guidance from their teachers. This will be subject to written consent of their parents/ guardians.
Skill or entrepreneurship training will be permitted in National Skill Training Institutes, Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), short term training centres registered with National Skill Development Corporation or State Skill Development Missions or other ministries of the central or state governments.
National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD), Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE) and their training providers will also be permitted.
The Department of Higher Education (DHE) in consultation with MHA may permit students to attend higher education institutions for research scholars (Ph D) and post-graduate technical and professional programmes requiring laboratory/ experimental works, based on the assessment of the situation, and keeping in view incidence of Covid-19 in the states/ UTs.
Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres (excluding open air theatre) and similar places will remain closed for the public.
International air travel of passengers, except as permitted by MHA, will also remain closed.
Lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones till 30 September 2020.
District authorities will demarcate containment zones at the micro level after taking into consideration the guidelines of MoHFW 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 MOHFW.
State/ UT governments shall not impose any local lockdown (state/ district/ sub-division/city/ village level), outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the central government.
There shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods. No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit will be required for such movements.
National Directives for Covid-19 management shall continue to be followed throughout the country, with a view to ensure social distancing. Shops will need to maintain adequate physical distancing among customers. MHA will monitor the effective implementation of National Directives.
Vulnerable persons, ie, persons above 65 years of age, persons 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.