New Delhi, Oct 27 (IANS) The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued an order on Tuesday extending the guidelines for re-opening, issued in September, to remain in force till November 30.
Most of the activities outside the containment zones were permitted, some involving large number of people, with some restrictions and subject to SOPs being followed regarding health and safety precautions. These activities include metro rail; shopping malls; hotel, restaurants and hospitality services; religious places; yoga and training institutes; gymnasiums; cinemas; entertainment park and others.
In respect of certain activities, having relatively higher degree of risk of COVID infection, state or UT Governments have been permitted to take decisions for their re-opening, based on the assessment of the situation and subject to SOPs.
These activities include schools and coaching institutes; state and private universities for research scholars; allowing gatherings above the limit of 100 among others.
Meanwhile after the last MHA guidelines in September, activities such as international air travel of passengers, swimming pools being used for training of sportspersons, exhibitions halls for business to business (B2B) purposes, cinemas/ theatres/ multiplexes upto 50% of their seating capacity, social/ academic/ sports/ entertainment/ cultural/ religious/ political functions and other congregations, in closed spaces with a maximum of 50% of the hall capacity and subject to ceiling of 200 persons are also permitted but with restrictions.
“Further decision regarding the above activities will be taken based on the assessment of the situation,” said the MHA.
The MHA said that the essence behind graded re-opening and progressive resumption of activities is to move ahead. However, it cautioned, it does not mean the end of the pandemic.
“There is a need to exercise abundant caution by adopting COVID-19 appropriate behaviour by every citizen in their daily routines,” the MHA order added.
“There is an urgent need to instill a sense of discipline and ownership amongst citizens in order that the resumption of activities is successful and gains made in the management of the pandemic are not diluted,” it read.
The MHA has already advised Chief Secretaries or Administrators of all States or UTs that they should endeavour to promote COVID-19 appropriate behaviour like wearing mask, washing hands and maintaining physical distancing extensively at the grass root levelA
Meanwhile National Directives for Covid-19 management will continue to be followed throughout the country, so as to enforce COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.
Strict enforcement of lockdown in Containment Zones to stay till 30th November. Moreover, Containment Zones will 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.
Within the containment zones, strict perimeter control shall be maintained and only essential activities allowed.A
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.
Meanwhile, the MHA strongly stressed once again that any vulnerable person, who is above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years should stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes.