File image of North Block in New Delhi, which houses the Ministry of Home Affairs | Photo: Bloomberg
File image of North Block in New Delhi, which houses the Ministry of Home Affairs | Photo: Bloomberg
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New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs Wednesday evening announced guidelines for Unlock 3, which will kick in from 1 August, further relaxing activities outside containment zones.

A night curfew, restricting the movement of people between 10 pm and 5 am, has been done away with. Yoga institutes and gymnasiums have also been allowed to open, but from 5 August.

Moreover, Independence Day functions will also be allowed, but with social distancing and by following other health protocols like wearing masks. School, coaching institutes and colleges will remain shut until 31 August.

“The new guidelines, issued today, are based on feedback received from states and UTs, and extensive consultations held with related central ministries and departments,” a senior official said.

Also Read: What pandemic? For some Indians, Unlock 1.0 means Covid crisis is over

Relaxations but with all precautions

According to the MHA, although further relaxations have been permitted, people still have to follow protocols and guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare while venturing out.

“Restrictions on movement of individuals during night (night curfew) have been removed but still people should go out only if necessary,” an MHA official said.

“Yoga institutes and gymnasiums will be allowed to open from August 5 but in this regard, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare for ensuring social distancing and to contain the spread of COVID-19,” he added.

The official said that it was after “extensive consultation with states and UTs” it has been decided that schools, colleges and coaching institutions will remain closed until 31 August.

Moreover, international travel too will open in a calibrated manner.

“International air travel of passengers has been permitted in a limited manner under the Vande Bharat mission. Further opening up will take place in a calibrated manner,” he said.

Also Read: Unlock complacency, contact-tracing fatigue — more than one reason for Bengaluru’s spiral

What is still not allowed

Metro, cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places will remain shut.

Large congregations — whether social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions and others — will be prohibited.

“Dates for opening of these will be decided separately, based on the assessment of the situation,” the official said.

“Lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones until 31 August,” he added.

Containment zones to be demarcated

The home ministry also conveyed to the states that containment zones are required to be carefully demarcated well with a view to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Within the containment zones, strict perimeter control shall be maintained and only essential activities allowed, a statement by the ministry said.

“These Containment Zones will be notified on the websites of the respective District Collectors and by the States/ UTs and information will also be shared with MOHFW,” the statement read.

“Activities in the Containment Zones shall be monitored strictly by State and UT authorities, and the guidelines relating to containment measure in these zones shall be strictly implemented,” it added.

MHA said that MOHFW will monitor the proper delineation of Containment Zones and implementation of the containment measures.

Also Read: Why Andhra govt, experts are not worried as Covid cases surge 400% in 20 days

States to decide on activities outside Containment Zones

The home ministry also said that states and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the Containment zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary.

However, there shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods.

“No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit will be required for such movements,” the statement said.

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