Unlock 5.0: India Prepares To Unlock Cinema Halls, States To Decide On Reopening Of Schools

Fresh unlock guidelines issued by the MHA allows cinemas to reopen from October 15. The MHA has allowed states to reopen schools in a graded manner.

New guidelines of Unlock 5.0 were released on Wednesday by the government, allowing opening up of more activities in areas outside the containment zones. The Centre’s step-by-step opening up post-coronavirus lockdown is set to see major relaxations in Unlock 5.0.

In these guidelines, which will come into effect from October 1, 2020, the process of re-opening of activities has been extended further. MHA release said that the new guidelines are based on feedback received from states and UTs and extensive consultations held with related central ministries and departments.

Salient features of Unlock 5.0 Guidelines 

Activities permitted from 15th October 2020, in areas outside the Containment Zones

  • Cinemas/ theatres/ multiplexes will be permitted to open with up to 50% of their seating capacity, for which, SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.
  • Business to Business (B2B) Exhibitions will be permitted to open, for which, SOP will be issued by the Department of Commerce.
  • 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.
  • Swimming pools being used for training of sportspersons will be permitted to open, for which the standard operating procedure (SOP) will be issued by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports (MoYA&S).
  • Entertainment parks and similar places will be permitted to open, for which the SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW).
  • Lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones till 31st October 2020.
  • State/ UT Governments shall not impose any local lockdown (State/ District/ sub-division/City/ village level), outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the Central Government.
  • All activities, except the following, shall be permitted outside containment zones:
    International air travel of passengers, except as permitted by MHA.

Opening of Schools, colleges, educational institutions, and coaching institutions

For the re-opening of schools and coaching institutions, State/ UT Governments have been given the flexibility to take a decision after 15th October 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 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.
  • Students may attend schools/ institutions only with the written consent of parents.
  • Attendance must not be enforced and must depend entirely on parental consent.
  • States /UTs will prepare their own SOP regarding health and safety precautions for reopening schools/ institutions based on the SOP to be issued by the Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL), Ministry of Education, Government of India, keeping local requirements in view.

Regulation of gatherings

  • Social/ academic/ sports/ entertainment/ cultural/ religious/ political functions and other congregations have already been permitted with a ceiling of 100 persons, outside Containment Zones only.
  • Now State/ UT Governments have been given the flexibility to permit such gatherings beyond the limit of 100 persons, outside Containment Zones, after 15th October 2020, which will be subject to the following conditions:
  • In closed spaces, a maximum of 50% 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 the view, and with strict observance of social distancing, the mandatory wearing of face masks, provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitizer.

Vulnerable persons, i.e., 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.

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