Unlock 6.0 Guidelines: Even though the Centre issued no fresh directions in its unlock guidelines for November, a handful of states have allowed opening up of more activities outside containment zones and announced partial reopening of schools. Earlier this week, the Ministry of Home Affairs stated there would be no further relaxations and the Unlock 5.0 guidelines issued last month would remain in force till November 30.
Since the ‘Unlock’ process started in the country from June 1, activities such as opening of restaurants, cinema halls, gyms, malls, schools, swimming pools, religious places and metro rail services have been allowed in a calibrated manner with strict SOPs in place. The relaxations have come even as Covid-19 cases in India have seen a sharp dip, with recovery rate climbing to 91.34 per cent.
Which states have announced fresh guidelines for November?
Delhi unlock guidelines
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority has allowed public buses in the national capital to run at full seating capacity and weddings in the capital can now host up to 200 persons — up from 50 guests. So far, ever since services resumed on May 19 after a two-month lockdown, buses were allowed to seat only up to 20 passengers. Once approved, AC buses will be able to carry 35 passengers while non-AC buses have a seating capacity of 41.
Plans are also afoot to reopen the Inter-State Bus Terminals (ISBT) located at Anand Vihar, Kashmere Gate and Sarai Kale Khan and a standard operating procedure is being prepared for resumption. The ISBTs, which witness a footfall of over 2.5 lakh daily, have been shut since March 21.
Meanwhile, with Delhi witnessing a sharp spike in the city’s daily Covid-19 case count, touching an average of 5,000 cases daily, schools will continue to remain close in the national capital.
Odisha unlock guidelines
As part of its ‘Unlock-6’ guidelines, the Naveen Patnaik-led government has announced partial reopening of schools for students of classes 9-12 from November 16 and places of worship with appropriate restrictions and safety protocols.
Higher education institutions will be permitted to open only for research scholars (PhD) and postgraduate students in science and technology streams requiring laboratory work, the order said. However, authorities have been permitted to conduct examinations (academic, competitive and entrance tests), evaluation and other administrative activities.
Marriage-related gatherings have been capped at 200 persons, and not more than 50 persons are allowed at funerals even though cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment complexes, theatres, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places will continue to remain shut.
Andhra Pradesh unlock guidelines
Extending the academic year 2020-21 up to April 30, the government has announced graded reopening of schools, with students of classes 9-10 set to rejoin from November 2, classes 6-8 from November 23, and class 1-5 from December 14. From November 2, students of classes 9 and 10 will be attending school every alternate day and classes will be held till noon. Each classroom will be limited to only 16 students.
Moreover, the state government has decided to open all higher educational institutions, including university colleges and its affiliated colleges across the state from November 2 and classes will take place on all six days of a week. 📣 Express Explained is now on Telegram
Maharashtra unlock guidelines
The Uddhav Thackeray government plans to allow the general public to use local trains during non-peak hours from early November and has sought permission from the Railways Ministry regarding the matter. According to the proposal, any person holding a valid ticket or pass will be allowed to board local trains till 7.30 am, then between 11 am to 4.30 pm and after 8 pm till the end of the services.
The development comes on the heels of the government allowing women to travel in local trains from October 18 between 11 am and 3 pm and from 7 pm till the end of services. Besides women, those involved in essential services and dabbawalas have been allowed to travel by local trains.
Tamil Nadu unlock guidelines
The Tamil Nadu government has allowed schools, colleges, cinemas, zoos and amusement parks to reopen from November in adherence to Standard Operating Procedures. Suburban train services, as per the Central government’s decision, are “allowed” to resume. Schools, all colleges, research and other educational institutions, and hostels would be allowed to open from November 16. However, only classes for standards 9-12 will be conducted.
Lockdown extended till Nov 30 in #TN. Schools (Class IX to XII) colleges and other educational institutions can reopen from Nov 16. Theatres, Malls allowed to operate from Nov 10 with 50% occupancy. Suburban train services to resume following SOP issued by centre. @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/pTDfo5eB1R
— Janardhan Koushik (@koushiktweets) October 31, 2020
What relaxations have the Centre announced so far?
In its Unlock 5.0 guidelines, the MHA had allowed cinemas and multiplexes to open with 50 per cent capacity from October 15 while doing away with limits on outdoor gatherings. Indoor gatherings have been allowed with 50 per cent capacity. Business to business exhibitions were given the green light and swimming pools “being used for sportspersons” were also permitted to open, besides entertainment parks. On reopening of schools, the MHA has put the ball in the states’ court.
The unlockdown norms mean that the only thing that remains completely barred (outside containment zones) are international flights. India already has air bubble arrangements with 18 countries. The order, however, strictly mentions that state governments shall not impose local lockdowns outside such zones without consulting the ministry. There are no restrictions on inter- and intra-state movement either.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines