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‘Un’lockdown 5.0: India getting back to work

The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued revised guidelines on May 30 for Lockdown Phase 5 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the guidelines effectively extend the lockdown till June 30 for containment zones, they also provide a roadmap for phased opening up of other areas in the economy. All activities will be permitted in these areas except for those below, for which separate guidelines have been issued:

Phase 1

Following activities will be allowed from June 8:

   – Religious places/places of worship for public

   – Hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services

   – Shopping malls

Phase 2

Schools, colleges, educational/training/coaching institutions, etc will be opened in consultation with states/UTs, who may hold consultations with parents and other stakeholders. Based on these discussions, a decision on re-opening these institutions will be taken in July. 

Phase 3

After assessing the situation, dates for restarting the following will be decided:

   – International air travel of passengers, except as permitted by Ministry of Home Affairs

   – Metro Rail

   – Cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places

   – Social/political/sports/entertainment/academic/cultural/religious functions and other large congregations. 

Ministry of Health & Family Welfare will issue guidelines/SOPs for the above in consultation with Central Ministries/concerned departments, and other stakeholders, with a view to ensure social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Movement of individuals shall be strictly prohibited between 9 pm and 5 am across India, except for essential activities.

On the other hand, inter-state and intra-state movement of people will be allowed without restrictions. But if some state/UTs plan to regulate movement based on their assessment of the situation, they should widely publicise both the restrictions and the procedures to be followed.