Why has the lockdown been extended for a month?
This is actually not an extension of the full lockdown. The guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs say that the lockdown is being extended until June 30 only in containment zones. These containment zones will be demarcated by states, depending upon the severity of the coronavirus outbreak in an area.
For areas outside of containment zones, this is the lifting of the lockdown in a phased manner.
So what all is opening, and when?
Malls, hotels, and restaurants; places of worship; schools and colleges, all have been allowed to open in a phased manner over the next couple of months. Malls, hotels, and restaurants, and religious places such as temples, mosques, and churches will reopen from June 8.
Schools, colleges, coaching institutes, and other such educational institutions will open in July, after due consultations with parents and other stakeholders.
The Indian Railways have already announced that 100 pairs of trains will start running from Monday (June 1). Bookings for these trains are open, and you can book your seat/berth up to 30 days in advance.
These 100 pairs of trains are in addition to the “Rajdhani type” trains that were started earlier.
📣 Express Explained is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@ieexplained) and stay updated with the latest
OK, so what all is prohibited, then?
International flights, Metro trains, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places shall remain out of bounds for now.
Religious, political, and all other such congregations shall remain prohibited.
This means that while you can go to the temple, you cannot join a religious procession in a festival. This, however, will be eased in Phase III of this unlocking, after due consultations with stakeholders.
So from June 8 onwards, we can all go mall-hopping?
No, not necessarily.
States have been given the right to decide that. If the government of the state that you live in feels that allowing any activity will jeopardise its efforts to contain the Covid-19 epidemic, it may restrict such activity.
This also means that while the Centre has allowed the free movement of people and goods across inter-state borders, states can still choose to seal their borders and not allow people from other states to enter.
What about the 7 pm to 7 am “night curfew”?
The night curfew shall continue to remain in place. However, its timing has been relaxed. The night curfew will now be observed from 9 pm to 5 am.
Are there any precautions suggested for the opening of prohibited activities?
Everyone will continue to be expected to wear masks, maintain social distancing and exercise personal hygiene. Apart from this, the ministry of Health and Family welfare will issue standard operating procedures for all new openings.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines