Home / News / India /  Unlock 4: Lockdown extended in containment zones till 30 Sept; metro rail can resume. Details here

The Ministry of Home Affairs today announced the fresh guidelines for Unlock 4 plan. Under the guidelines, lockdown will be extended in the country till 30 September. However, the lockdown will only be implemented strictly in the containment zones, it said.

"The new guidelines, issued today, are based on feedback received from States and UTs, and extensive consultations held with related Central Ministries and Departments," the Centre said in a statement.

In a major development, metro rail will be allowed to operate with effect from September 7 in a graded manner, by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MOHUA)/ Ministry of Railways (MOR), in consultation with MHA, the statement said.

Earlier, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had laid out a slew of measure before the resumption of the metro services in the national capital. Limiting number of people in lifts and longer halting time for trains at stations to allow commuters to board and alight with social distancing norms, are among the measures the Delhi Metro will take to ensure safer travel for its passengers.

Furthermore, schools, colleges, Educational and coaching institutions to remain closed; states and UTs may permit 50% of teaching staff to come to schools for online teaching from September 21. Students of Class 9-12 can voluntarily visit schools, with parents’ written consent.

Moreover, higher education institutions only for research scholars (Ph.D.) and post-graduate students of technical and professional programmes requiring laboratory/ experimental works will be allowed in the new guidelines. "These will be permitted by the Department of Higher Education (ME) in consultation with MHA, based on the assessment of the situation, and keeping in view incidence of COVID-19 in the States/ UTs," MHA said in a statement.

The ministry of health and family welfare will issue the required standard operating procedure for senior school students, school staff and higher education students in due course.

Social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, political functions and other congregations will be permitted with a ceiling of 100 persons, from 21 September, it further stated.

However, such limited gatherings can be held with the mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitizer, the guidelines said.

There shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods. No separate permission or approval, e-permit will be required for such movements, the guidelines further stated.

Cinema hall, swimming pools, theatres and similar places to remain closed. However open air theatres permitted to open from September 21.

However, all activities will be allowed outside containment zones which were earlier permitted by the authorities in the earlier guidelines such as shopping malls, barber shops etc.

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.

International air travel will be suspended until further notice, except as permitted by MHA.

Guidelines for containment zones:

According to the order, lockdown in containment zones will remain imposed till 30 September, 2020. These virus containment zones need to be carefully demarcated by the state governments or UTs.

Within the perimeters of containment zones, strict social distancing and other norms of containing the spread of the virus shall be maintained and only essential activities will be allowed, MHA said in a statement.

These containment zones will be notified on the websites of respective district collectors of the states and UTs and activities taking place in these zones will be strictly monitored by the authorities.

However, State or 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, the government said in a statement.

The use of Aarogya Setu app will be encouraged in the new unlock period.

India went under a complete nationwide lockdown from 25 March in order to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country. In an attempt to bring back normalcy, the MHA has been issuing a number of guidelines in its 'Unlock India' mission. The Unlock process of the country had begun on June 1 with the graded reopening of commercial, social, religious and other activities in order to kickstart the economy.

Meanwhile, India's Covid-19 tally raced past 34 lakh-mark on Saturday after states added a record 76,472 new cases in the last 24 hours, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare data.

However, the number of recoveries surged to 26,48,998, pushing the recovery rate to 76.47%, according to the Union health ministry. Active cases rose to 7,52,424.

The total number of Covid-19 cases rose to 34,63,972, while the death toll due to the disease climbed to 62,550 with 1,021 more people succumbing to it in a span of 24 hours, the ministry's data showed.

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