The Central Government Saturday issued fresh guidelines specifying the opening of more activities in areas outside the Containment Zones.
The guidelines provide that the State/ Union Territories will not impose any local lockdown (State/ District/ sub-division/City/ village level), outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the Central Government.
In Unlock 4, which will come into effect from September 1, the Metro Rail will be allowed to operate with effect from September 7 in a graded manner. Ministry of Urban Affairs will issue a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the same.
Social/ academic/ sports/ entertainment/ cultural/ religious/ political functions and other congregations will be permitted with a ceiling of 100 persons, with effect from September 21.
MHA said that after extensive consultation with States and UTs, it decided that Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions would continue to remain closed for students and regular class activity up to September 30. However, Online/distance learning will continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged.
In addition, however, the following will be permitted, in areas outside the Containment Zones only, with effect from September 21 for which, SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW):
States/ UTs may permit upto 50% of teaching and non-teaching staff to be called to the schools at a time for online teaching/ tele- counselling and related work.
Students of classes 9 to 12 may be permitted to visit their schools, in areas outside the Containment Zones only, on voluntary basis, for taking guidance from their teachers. This will be subject to 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 permitted.
Opening of Higher Education Institutions will be allowed only for research scholars (Ph.D.) 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.
Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres (excluding open-air theatre) and similar places to remain closed.
International air travel of passengers will also remain closed except as permitted by MHA.
Unlock 4 guidelines reiterate that the vulnerable persons, i.e., persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, 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, said MHA.