A day before the end of the fourth phase of lockdown, the home ministry on Saturday issued new guidelines for the phased reopening of all activities outside containment zones till June 30.
Phase I: MHA said that activities to be allowed with effect from June 8, 2020, in Phase I include -- religious places/places of worship for the public, hotels, restaurants, and other hospitality services and shopping malls.
The health ministry will issue Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for these activities in consultation with the central ministries/departments concerned and other stakeholders ensuring social distancing and to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Phase II: Schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions etc will be opened after consultations with states and union territories. The MHA said that state governments/UT administrations may hold consultations at the institution level with parents and other stakeholders.
'Based on the feedback, a decision on the re-opening of these institutions will be taken in the month of July 2020,' it said.
The MHA said the Health Ministry will prepare SOP in this regard in consultation with the central ministries/ departments concerned and other stakeholders for ensuring social distancing and to contain the spread of COVID-19.
Phase III: Based on the assessment of the situation, dates for re-starting some other activities will be decided which include 'international air travel of passengers, except as permitted by MHA'.
The other activities for Phase III, based on the assessment of the situation, include metro rail, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls, and similar places and 'social/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural/ religious functions and other large congregations', the MHA said.
Restrictions that will continue:
Night curfew movement of individuals has been redefined and shall remain strictly prohibited between 9 pm to 5 am.
Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla issued an order concerning phase-wise re-opening of prohibited activities.
'Whereas, in the exercise of the powers under section 6(2)(i) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has directed the undersigned to issue an order to extend the lockdown in containment zones up to June 30, 2020, and to re-open prohibited activities in a phased manner in areas outside containment zones,' the order said.
'Now, therefore, in the exercise of the powers, conferred under Section 10(2)(1) of the Disaster Management Act 2005, the undersigned hereby directs that guidelines as annexed, will remain in force up to June 30, 2020,' it added.
List of instructions by Union home ministry:
Following instructions have been issued as national directives for COVID-19 management:
* Face covering: Wearing of face cover is compulsory in public places, in workplace and during transport.
* Social distancing: Individuals must maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet (do gaz ki doori) in public places. Shops will ensure physical distancing among customers and will not allow more than five people at one time.
* Gatherings: Large public gatherings or congregations continue to remain prohibited. Marriage related gatherings: Number of guests not to exceed 50. Funeral or last rites related gatherings: Number of persons not to exceed 20.
* Spitting in public places will be punishable with fine, as may be prescribed by the states or UT or local authority in accordance with its laws, rules or regulations.
* Consumption of liquor, paan, gutka, tobacco etc. in public places is prohibited.
Additional directives for work places:
* As far as possible the practice of Work from home (WfH) should be followed.
* Staggering of work or business hours will be followed in offices, work places, shops, markets and industrial and commercial establishments.
* Screening and hygiene: Provision for thermal scanning, hand wash and sanitizers will be made at all entry and exit points and common areas. Frequent sanitisation of entire workplace, common facilities and all points which come into human contact like door handles will be ensured, including between shifts.
* Social distancing: All persons in charge of work places will ensure adequate distance between workers, adequate gaps between shifts, staggering the lunch breaks of staffers, etc.