Unlock 5.0 guidelines: Cinema halls can operate at 50% capacity, states may decide to open schools from 15 Oct

Social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, political functions and other congregations will be permitted with a ceiling of 100 persons, with effect from 15 October

FP Staff September 30, 2020 21:32:54 IST
Unlock 5.0 guidelines: Cinema halls can operate at 50% capacity, states may decide to open schools from 15 Oct

Representational image. PTI

The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday announced the Unlock 5.0 guidelines under which cinemas/ theatres/ multiplexes will be permitted to open with up to 50 percent of their seating capacity from 15 October, restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement has been lifted, and states can no longer impose any local lockdown outside containment zones.

These guidelines will be effective from tomorrow (1 October), with the Unlock 4.0 phase ending on Tuesday (30 September). The lockdown, however, will be strictly enforced in containment zones till 31 October, the government said.

In a significant directive, the Ministry of Home Affairs has given the flexibility to states and UTs to re-open schools and coaching institutions after 15 October, in a graded manner.

Besides this, swimming pools used for training of sportspersons will also be permitted to open, for which the standard operating procedure will be issued by the government. Even entertainment parks and similar places will be permitted to open, for which the SOPs will be issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

The Centre has also allowed Business to Business (B2B) Exhibitions to open, for which, SOP will be issued by the Department of Commerce later on.

States allowed to reopen schools after 15 October

The Centre has given state/UT governments the flexibility to take a decision on reopening schools and coaching institutions in a graded manner after 15 October.

"The decision shall be taken in consultation with the respective school/institution management, based on their assessment of the situation," the MHA guidelines said.

However, online/distance learning shall continue to be the preferred 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, the MHA guideline said.

Students may attend schools/institutions only with the written consent of parents, it said.

Schools will not be allowed to enforce attendance. Schools, which are allowed to open, will have to mandatorily follow the SOPs issued by Education Departments of States/ UTs.

Higher education institutions only for research scholars (PhD) and post-graduate students in the science and technology stream that require laboratory/experimental works have been permitted to open from 15 October.

Social, political events allowed from 15 October

Social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, political functions and other congregations will be permitted with a ceiling of 100 persons, with effect from 15 October. The Centre has also given the flexibility states/UTs to permit gatherings beyond the limit of 100 persons, outside containment zones.

In closed spaces, a maximum of 50 percent of the hall capacity will be allowed, with a ceiling of 200 persons. Wearing of face masks, maintaining social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and use of hand wash or sanitizer will be mandatory.

"In open spaces, keeping the size of the ground/ space in view, and with strict observance of social distancing, mandatory wearing of face masks, provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitizer,” the order read.

Meanwhile, international air travel, except those permitted by MHA, continues to remain shut as per the new guidelines.

The phase-wise unlocking began in June with only a few essential activities beginning outside the containment zones. Over the last four months, offices, public transport including metro, domestic flights, religious places, restaurants, hotels, gyms, schools and colleges have been allowed to resume activities, though the state governments concerned have the final authority.

India’s coronavirus count rose to 62,25,763 after 80,472 cases were reported on Wednesday morning. The country’s toll went up by 1,179 to 97,497. India’s recovery rate is 83.01 percent, while the death rate stood at 1.57 percent, as per PTI.

With inputs from PTI

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