Unlock 5.0: Schools allowed to reopen from October 15 in graded manner

Cinemas/theatres/multiplexes will be permitted to open with up to 50 per cent of their seating capacity from October 15.

The Centre on Wednesday issued fresh guidelines for unlock 5.0, allowing more activities in areas outside the containment zones.

The nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 24 to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. The new guidelines for unlock 5.0 are likely to come into effect from October 1.

What's allowed in areas outside containment zones:

- Cinemas/theatres/multiplexes will be permitted to open with up to 50 per cent of their seating capacity from October 15, for which SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

- Entertainment parks and similar places will be permitted to open from October 15, for which the SOP will be issued by the Union Health Ministry (MoHFW).

- Swimming pools being used for training of sportspersons will be permitted to open from October 15, for which the standard operating procedure (SOP) will be issued by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MoYA&S).

- Business to Business (B2B) Exhibitions will be permitted to open from October 15, for which, SOP will be issued by the Department of Commerce.

- State/ UT Governments have been given the flexibility to take a decision for re-opening of schools and coaching institutions, after 15 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 the 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. Such gatherings beyond the limit of 100 persons may be permitted, outside Containment Zones, after 15th October 2020, which will be subject to the following conditions:

- 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.

State/UT governments will issue detailed SOPs, to regulate such gathering, and strictly enforce the same.

Containment zones

- Lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones till October 31.

- Containment Zones shall be demarcated by the District authorities at micro level after taking into consideration the guidelines of MoHFW with the objective of effectively breaking the chain of transmission.

- Strict containment measures will be enforced in these containment zones and only essential activities will be allowed.

- There shall be strict perimeter control to ensure that there is no movement of people in and out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining supply of essential goods and services.


State/UT governments shall not impose any local lockdown (State/district/sub-division/city level), outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the Central government

No restriction on Inter-State and intra-State movement

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.


Protection for vulnerable persons

Vulnerable persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, are advised to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes.

    First Published:Oct. 1, 2020, 12:18 p.m.

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