Classes to remain shut till Sept 30; cinema halls, swimming pools not to resume op
The Centre on Saturday allowed operation of Metro trains from September 7 and public gathering up to 100 people from September 21 with strict social distancing norms. But cinema halls and swimming pools will continue to remain shut.
The schools and colleges will be shut up to September 30, but the Centre has allowed 50 per cent of teachers and non-teaching staff to come to institutions from September 21 for the conduct of online and tele-counseling.
The Ministry of Home’s new Unlockdown-4 Guidelines said that students from 9th standard can visit the campuses with the consent of parents from September 21 to meet the teachers.
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has convened a virtual meeting with all metro companies on September 1 to discuss the standard operating procedures (SOP).The SOPs says customised entry/exit will be allowed at each station to control footfall.
The Metro train operation will be starting only in graded manner and intake of passengers as well as their entry to the platforms will be “controlled.”
The CISF will also be part of these procedures, especially in handling the passenger movements. The guidelines said that open-air theaters will be allowed to start from September 21.
“Metro rail will be allowed to operate with effect from 7th September 2020 in a graded manner, by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MOHUA)/ Ministry of Railways (MOR), in consultation with MHA. In this regard, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by MOHUA.
“Social/ academic/ sports/ entertainment/ cultural/ religious/ political functions and other congregations will be permitted with a ceiling of 100 persons, with effect from September 21. However, such limited gatherings can be held with the mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitizer,” said the guidelines.
The MHA said extensive discussions took place with States on the opening of schools and colleges. Though classes will be not conducted till September 30, partial activities will start from September 21. The Centre has asked the States to develop opening up procedures on this regard.
“After extensive consultation with States and UTs, it has been decided that schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will continue to remain closed for students and regular class activity up to 30th September 2020. Online/distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged,” the guidelines said.
It added that the following activities will be permitted in areas outside the Containment Zones only with effect from September 21 for which, SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW): a.States/ UTs may permit up to 50% of teaching and non-teaching staff to be called to the schools at a time for online teaching/ tele- counseling and related work. b.Students of Classes 9 to 12 may be permitted to visit their schools, in areas outside the Containment Zones only, on voluntary basis, for taking guidance from their teachers. This will be subject to written consent of their parents/ guardians.
The guidelines said that skill development centres and research and lab work in higher education centres will be opened up in a phased manner with concerned Ministries.
“Higher education institutions only for research scholars (Ph.D.) and post-graduate students of technical and professional programmes requiring laboratory/ experimental works. These will be permitted by the Department of Higher Education (DHE) in consultation with MHA, based on the assessment of the situation, and keeping in view the incidence of COVID-19 in the States/ UTs.,” said the guidelines.
The call on resuming the international air travel in a full-fledged manner will be taken later. The MHA also directed the States not to impose extra rules except in Containment Zones and also not to make any hurdles in inter-state border traffic. Administrations in Containment Zones are left to local authorities.
“Vulnerable persons, i.e., 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,” reiterated the MHA.
Sunday, 30 August 2020 | PNS | New Delhi
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