Unlock 5.0: From schools, cinema halls reopening to religious gatherings, here are key guidelines issued by Centre


New Delhi: As the new guidelines for Unlock 5.0 has been issued by the Centre here is a round up of what is open and what will remain closed. The unlock announcement is for opening up more activities in areas outside the containment zones. And the guidelines come into effect from October 1, 2020.

The new rules are based on feedback received from States and UTs, and extensive consultations held with Central Ministries and Departments concerned.

Cinema halls reopening:

Cinemas, theatres, multiplexes which have been closed since March, will be permitted to reopen with up to 50 per cent of their seating capacity, the SOP for which will be issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

As per orders from the Centre, cinemas halls, theatres and multiplexes reopen from October 15, I&B Minister Prakash Javadekar had announced on Tuesday. The theatres have been directed to operate with up to 50% of their seating capacity with one seat-distance. 

All COVID-19 guidelines and standard operating protocols (SOPs) issued by I&B Ministry must be followed at all cinema halls/theatres, Javadekar added. 

Schools, Colleges and varsities reopening

The Union Minsitry of Home Affairs has said that it is not compulsory for schools to restart classes on October 15. As per Unlock 5.0 guidelines, the states and UTs can take their decision over the re-opening of schools and coaching institutions after October 15 in graded manner.

The guidelines issued by the Centre on Saturday said that students can come to school but they will need a written permission of their parents or guardians. The Ministry has said that schools and coaching centres must encourage online learning if the students decide not to come to schools due to coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to Ministry’s guidelines, higher institutions can reopen only for PHd and PG students in Science and technology streams that need experimental or lab work.

Social, religious gathering

For a social or religious gathering the regulations need to kept in mind. 

The MHA has now permitted social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, political functions and other congregations with a ceiling of 100 persons but outside the Containment Zones only.

The Centre has now given States and UT’s the flexibility to permit such gatherings beyond the limit of 100 persons, outside containment zones, after October 15, 2020, which will be subject to conditions like: a maximum of 50% of the hall capacity will be allowed, with a ceiling of 200 persons in closed spaces. And wearing of face masks, maintaining social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and use of hand wash or sanitizer will be mandatory.

In order to ensure that such gatherings do not lead to the spread of coronavirus, State/ UT Governments have been asked to issue detailed SOPs in this regard.

Meanwhile, India on Wednesday reported a spike of 72,049 new cases and 986 deaths reported in the last 24 hours. The total tally stands at 67,57,132 including 9,07,883 active cases, 57,44,694 cured cases and 1,04,555 fatalities.

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