India announces unlockdown in phases; hotels, malls to open from June 8

India has announced the extension of its nationwide lockdown for one month beginning June 1 in the containment zones,  but has considerably eased restrictions in the green zone.


However, the government led by PM Narendra Modi said states will have the freedom to not open them or put suitable restrictions if they deem it necessary for containment of corona outbreak, the new guidelines issued by the MHA said.


The Centre is gearing up to gradually open activities which were prohibited during the two months-long lockdown. The MHA is giving extensive relaxations including opening of religious places and shopping malls in a phased manner from June 8.


In the first phase, places of worships, hotels, restaurants and shopping malls would be allowed to open while classes in schools, colleges, and other educational institution would resume in the second phase after consultation with the state authorities, said media reports. 


The third phase will see opening of cinema halls, gymnasiums and resumption of international lights, apart from other activities social/political/sports/entertainment/academic/cultural/ religious functions and other large congregations.


According to new guidelines announced here by the Ministry of Home Affairs tonight, the lockdown will be limited to containment zones where only essential services and activities will be allowed.


For the rest of the country, all activities, barring a few such as international travel, will be allowed in a phase-wise manner. 


These activities will be allowed in three stages, the ministry said, adding that each activity would only be allowed if SOPs issued by the Health Ministry were followed. 


Night curfew for non-essential activities and movement of individuals shall remain in place but the timings of curfew has been revised from 9 pm-5 am from the existing 7 pm-7am. 


"The current phase of re-opening, Unlock 1, will have an economic focus," the home ministry said. 


International air travel, namely, arrival and departure of passengers, will continue to be prohibited until the "Unlock-III" phase of this gradual reopening. 


Dates for the commencement of international flights would be decided "based on assessment of the situation" at a date, as yet unspecified, the new guidelines said.


In the phase called "Unlock-II," to be implemented in July, schools, universities and other vocational training institutions will be reopened after consultations with States and Union Territories.


Operation of metro rail transport in cities, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks and theatres will also have to wait till "Unlock-III." Sports and entertainment activities, political, cultural and religious functions involving large congregations of people will also continue to be banned until further notice.


With immediate effect, there will be no restrictions any more on inter-state movement of people and goods or on such movement within states, said the MHA guidelines.


"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," it added.





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