- India extends lockdown till June 30 in containment zones
- Night curfew will remain in force from 9 pm to 5am
- Places of worship, hotels, restaurants and malls can reopen from June 8
- India's Covid-19 situation as of today- Deaths - 4,971, Infections - 1,73,763, Recovered- 11,264
India has extended its coronavirus lockdown till June 30.
However, malls and restaurants can reopen from June 8 except in containment zones, or areas sealed because of a large number of virus cases, reports the NDTV.
Religious places, hotels and restaurants will also be allowed from June 8, the Indian home ministry has said in its new guidelines ordering phased re-opening of areas outside containment cones.
"The current phase of re-opening, Unlock 1, will have an economic focus," said the guidelines.
The new guidelines had been issued based on extensive consultations held with States and Union Territories, India's home ministry said.
Here are a few takeaways from India's Lockdown 5 guidelines:
- In the first stage of lockdown relaxation, religious places, hotels and restaurants, and shopping malls will be allowed from June 8.
- In the second, schools, colleges and other educational institutions will be re-opened. However, this will only happen after discussions with all stakeholders, including parents. The final decision on this will be taken in July.
- In the third phase, international air travel may be re-started, with exceptions as listed by the Home Ministry. Metro services may also be re-started in this phase.
- Cinema halls, gyms, swimming pools, theatres, bars and other places of assembly may be allowed in the third stage. Social, political, sporting, cultural and religious functions, as well as all other large congregations may also be allowed at this time.
- Night curfew hours - previously enforced from 7 PM to 7 AM across the country - have been reduced to 9 PM to 5 AM, except for essential activities.
- There shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods. No separate permission or e-permit will be required for such movement. However, states and union territories can, for reasons of public health and given Covid-19 cases in its area, can place such restrictions, but only after wide publicity in advance.
- Use of the Aarogya Setu app, the government's contentious contact-tracing software, has been promoted. All employers are urged, on "best effort basis", to ensure their employees have installed the app.
- Persons above 65, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below 10 are advised to stay at home, except for essential and health purposes. Research has indicated the Covid-19 virus may affect these sections of the society most severely.
- Under the National Directives for Covid-19 Management, wearing of face masks (or cover) and maintaining social distancing remains mandatory in all public places, workplaces and during transportation.
- The work-from-home policy should be followed as far as possible, the Home Ministry said. Reiterating rules for earlier phases of lockdown, it also called for staggering of working hours for all offices, shops and commercial establishments.
All activities banned earlier will be opened up in areas outside Containment Zones in a phased manner, with standard operating proceduresto be prescribed by the health ministry.
A decision on reopening schools will be taken in July, after consultations with schools.
The Indian government said it will consider restarting international flights, metro trains, cinemas and gyms after the first two phases of lockdown 5, which kicks in on June 8 with the opening of places of worship, hotels, restaurants and malls.
Indian home ministry in a statement said based on the situation of the first two phases, the government will decide on the dates for restarting international flights, metro rail, cinema halls, gyms, swimming pools, parks, bars, auditoriums and assembly halls.
Regular international and domestic flights were stopped after the lockdown necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in late March.
This week, the government allowed domestic flights to resume, but with strict social distancing and safety guidelines.
The government has also been bringing home Indians stranded abroad on special flights, for which passengers have to pay for their tickets.
Several mall, theatre and gym owners and other businesses including salons have been asking the government to allow customers to return as their earnings have been hit hard by the strict but necessary lockdown.
The government today allowed a three-phased reopening of all services and stores in areas outside containment zones, except for a select list of services and places that will reopen in phases or are yet to be decided.
The coronavirus lockdown will be in force in all containment zones till June 30. Only essential services will be allowed in containment zones, the government said.