Ministry of Home Affairs issues guidelines for Unlock 4

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Unlock 4 guidelines

As the unlocking process continues and India enters the fourth phase of Unlock, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issues a new set of guidelines, on August 29, for withdrawing a few more restrictions and allowing more activities to resume. However, the new Unlock 4 guidelines are applicable only to areas outside the containment zones. As per the Ministry, the guidelines will come into effect from September 1, 2020. The guidelines have been formulated following the Centre’s discussions with the States and UTs.

Unlock 4 Guidelines

  • Metro rail will be allowed to resume functions from September 7, 2020, in a graded manner, by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA)/ Ministry of Railways (MoR), in consultation with the MHA. In this regard, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by the MoHUA.

  • A maximum of 100 person gathering is allowed for social/ academic/ sports/ entertainment/ cultural/ religious/ political functions and other congregations from September 21, 2020. However, wearing of face masks is mandatory while attending such gatherings, social distancing has to be taken care of, provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitizer should be made available.

  • Open-air theatres will be permitted to open from September 21, 2020.

  • 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 September 30, 2020. Online/distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged.

  • However, from September 21, States/ UTs may permit up to 50 percent of teaching and non-teaching staff to be called to the schools at a time for online teaching/ Tele counselling and related work.

Also Read: DMRC releases new guidelines prior to resumption of functions

  • Moreover, students of classes 9 to 12 may be permitted to visit their schools, in areas outside the Containment Zones only, on a voluntary basis, for taking guidance from their teachers. This will be subject to the 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 Government of India or State Governments.

  • National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD), Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE) and their training providers will also be allowed to resume work.

  • Higher Education Institutions only for research scholars (PhD) 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.

  • 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 ensuring social distancing. Shops will need to maintain adequate physical distancing among customers. The MHA will monitor the effective implementation of National Directives.

  • Vulnerable persons including 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.

  • The use of Aarogya Setu mobile application will continue to be encouraged.

Also Read: The Nationwide lockdown: a bane and a boon

All activities, except the following, shall be permitted outside containment zones:

  • Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres (excluding open-air theatre) and similar places will continue to remain close.

  • International air travel of passengers, except as permitted by MHA.

  • Lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones till September end as of yet.

  • Containment Zones shall be demarcated by the district authorities at 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.

  • Further, as per the Centre, States shall not impose any local lockdown outside Containment Zones without prior consultation.

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