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Unlock 5: MHA issues new guidelines for re-opening

Despite a steep rise in the number of COVID cases in the country, the ministry of home affairs (MHA) has announced a detailed guideline for reopening to be effective from October 1 in areas outside containment zones

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Guwahati: Despite a steep rise in the number of COVID cases in the country, the ministry of home affairs (MHA) has announced a detailed guideline for reopening to be effective from October 1 in areas outside containment zones.

The new guidelines issued on Wednesday are based on feedback received from States and UTs, and extensive consultations held with related Central Ministries and departments.

The guidelines go as:

  • Cinema, theatres, multiplexes will be permitted to open with upto 50% of their seating capacity, for which, SOP will be issued by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
  • 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 will be permitted to open, for which the SOP will be issued by Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MoYA&S).
  • Entertainment parks and similar places will be permitted to open, foe which the SOP will be issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

For re-opening of schools and coaching institutions, State/UT Governments have been given the flexibility to take decision after October 15, 2020, in a graded manner. The decision shall 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 perfect 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.
  • State/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 Department of States/UTs.
  • 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.

The Ministry also informed that lockdown will continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones till 31st October. Strict containment measures will be enforced in these containment zones and only essential activities will be allowed.

The State and UT Governments shall not impose any local lockdown (State, District, sub-division, City and village level), outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the Central Government.

It is also added that there shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission, approval and e-permit will be required for such movements.

Vulnerable 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.