India to open up largely on June 8 except in containment zones
Barring some States which have decided to extend the lockdown, India will largely open up on June 8 except in containment zones. The Union Home Ministry on Saturday issued guidelines to open up malls, hotels, hospitality services and religious places from June 8 with strict social distancing norms, like wearing of mask, etc.
The decision to open schools and colleges will be decided by the States in consultation with stakeholders in July. The lockdown guidelines will be applicable in containment zones up to June 30 and only essential services will be permitted in these areas.
The MHA’s new guidelines say after assessment of the situation, opening up of international airlines, metro rail, cinema halls, swimming pools, bars, auditoriums and social political gathering will be decided later.
The night curfew will remain in place and movement of individuals shall remain strictly prohibited between 9 pm and 5 am throughout the country, except for essential services.
Local authorities are permitted to implement Section 144 in this regard, said the MHA giving more power to States.
“Schools, colleges, educational/training/coaching institutions etc will be opened after consultations with States and UTs,” the MHA said, adding that the States may 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 July, said the MHA.
Containment zones’ geographical area and demarcation will be decided by the States and powers are given to local authorities for house to house and patient tracing. States are empowered to demarcate buffer zones outside containment zones were new cases likely to occur, said the MHA.
“In the containment zones, only essential activities shall be allowed. There shall be strict perimeter control to ensure that there is no movement of people in or out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and maintaining supply of essential goods and services,” said the guidelines, empowering local administration for strict implementation to contain Covid-19 pandemic areas.
There shall be no restriction on inter-State or intra-State movements of persons and goods. However, States are empowered to take a decision on not allowing this based on public health scenario, said the new guidelines.
The guidelines insisted that wearing of mask in public places is compulsory and also said that persons above 65 and children below 10 years and pregnant women and patients are advised to stay at home.
There is no mandatory rule for downloading controversial Aarogya Setu App and the MHA said it as an only advisable one.
The MHA insisted for social distancing with minimum distance of 6 feet in public places. Gathering for marriages is limited to 50 only and 20 persons are allowed for funerals. Consumption of liquor, smoking and chewing pan in public places are continued to be banned.
The guidelines also asked companies for staggering of working or business hours and frequent sanitisation and ensure social distancing on office premises.
Sunday, 31 May 2020 | PNS | New Delhi
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