The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a new set of guidelines for Unlock 5.0 on Wednesday for opening up of more activities in areas outside the Containment Zones.

In these guidelines, which will come into effect from October 1, 2020, the process of re-opening of activities has been extended further. The new guidelines, issued today, are based on feedback received from States and UTs, and extensive consultations held with related Central Ministries and Departments.

From October 15, Cinemas/ theatres/ multiplexes will be permitted to open with upto 50% of their seating capacity, for which, SOP will be issued by Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.

Business to Business (B2B) Exhibitions will be permitted to open, for which, SOP will be issued by the Department of Commerce, the guidelines said.

Swimming pools being used for training of sportspersons will be permitted to open, for which the standard operating procedure (SOP) will be issued by Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports (MoYA&S).

Entertainment parks and similar places will be permitted to open, for which the SOP will be issued by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW).

For re-opening of schools and coaching institutions, State/ UT Governments have been given the flexibility to take a decision after 15th October 2020, in a graded manner.  The decision shall be taken in consultation with the respective school/ institution management, based on their assessment of the situation, and subject to the following conditions:

Online/ distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged.

Where schools are conducting online classes, and some students prefer to attend online classes rather than physically attend school, they may be permitted to do so.

Students may attend schools/ institutions only with the written consent of parents.

Attendance must not be enforced, and must depend entirely on parental consent.

States /UTs will prepare their own SOP regarding health and safety precautions for reopening of schools/ institutions based on the SOP to be issued by Department of School Education and Literacy (DoSEL), Ministry of Education, Government of India, keeping local requirements in view.

Schools, which are allowed to open, will have to mandatorily follow the SOP to be issued by Education Departments of States/ UTs.

Department of Higher Education (DHE), Ministry of Education may take a decision on the timing of the opening of Colleges/ Higher Education Institutions, in consultation with Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), based on the assessment of the situation. Online/ distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged.

Social/ academic/ sports/ entertainment/ cultural/ religious/ political functions and other congregations have already been permitted with a ceiling of 100 persons, outside Containment Zones only.

Now State/ UT Governments have been given the flexibility to permit such gatherings beyond the limit of 100 persons, outside Containment Zones, after 15th October 2020.

However, in closed spaces, a maximum of 50% of the hall capacity will be allowed, with a ceiling of 200 persons. Wearing of face masks, maintaining social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and use of hand wash or sanitizer will be mandatory.

In open spaces, keeping the size of the ground/ space in view, and with strict observance of social distancing, mandatory wearing of face masks, provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitizer.

MHA has also said in its guidelines that the states should not impose any local lockdown outside Containment Zones. No restriction on Inter-State and intra-State movement is allowed.