MHA extends Unlock 5.0 guidelines, to remain in force till Nov 30

New Delhi (NVI): The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) today issued an order to extend the Unlock 5.0 guidelines for re-opening, which were issued last month, till November 30.

The MHA had earlier announced the detailed guidelines on September 30, to be effective till October 30.

There are no fresh changes and all major activities have already been allowed but strict lockdown will continue in containment zones, MHA said in a statement.

However, the latest guidelines have asked citizens to exercise extreme caution and follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Jan Aandolan launched earlier this month and to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

As per the previously issued guidelines, almost all activities have been gradually opened up in areas outside containment zones since the first order on lockdown measures by the MHA on March 24.

While most of the activities have been permitted, some activities involving large number of people, have been allowed with some restrictions and are subject to Standard Operating Procedures (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 etc.

Meanwhile, in respect of certain activities, state governments and Union Territories have been permitted to make decisions for their re-opening, based on the assessment of the situation and subject to SOPs. These include schools and coaching institutes and state and private universities for research scholars allowing gatherings above the limit of 100 etc.

In addition to this, lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones till November 30.

Containment zones shall be demarcated by district authorities after taking into consideration the guidelines of the Union health ministry 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.

The MHA has permitted the following activites based on the guidelines issued on September 30:

– International air travel of passengers as permitted by MHA

– Swimming pools being used for training of sportspersons

– Exhibitions halls for business to business (B2B) purposes

– Cinemas, theatres and multiplexes up to 50% of their seating capacity

– Social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, political functions and other congregations, in closed spaces with a maximum of 50 per cent of the hall capacity and subject to a ceiling of 200 people.

The ministry stated that further decision regarding these activities will be taken based on the assessment of the situation.

Chief secretaries and administrators of all states and Union territories have already been advised by MHA that they should endeavour to promote Covid-19 appropriate behaviour extensively at the grass-root level and take measures to enforce the wearing of masks, hand hygiene and social distancing.

“A ‘Jan Andolan’ was launched by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi on 8th October 2020 on COVID-19 appropriate behaviour to follow three mantras, namely: wear your mask properly; wash your hands frequently; and maintain a safe distance of 6 feet,” MHa said in its guidelines.