Lockdown 5.0: Here's what is likely to be allowed
As the fourth phase of the coronavirus lockdown nears its end, multiple reports have claimed that the curbs will be extended. A day after Home Minister Amit Shah held a meeting with Chief Ministers, Goa CM Dr. Pramod Sawant said that the "lockdown is likely to increase by 15 days." Although there are no guidelines for "Lockdown 5.0," here's what we do know.
Domestic air travel has already resumed with one-third of the pre-lockdown flight capacity. Although the government has allowed airlines to fly to any airport across India, the decision rests with operators based on demand. During Lockdown 5.0, more routes are likely to reopen. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has also indicated that international flights may resume before August.
The Indian Railways has already been operating Shramik Special trains to send migrant workers to their native states and limited passenger trains on select routes. From June 1, the Railways is planning to run 100 pairs of mail/express trains. Bookings for these trains have already started. On Thursday, the Railways restored tatkal and four-month advance bookings for the trains.
According to The Indian Express, states are likely to restart intra-state buses from June 1. Some states such as Odisha and Andhra Pradesh have already resumed the services. Reportedly, metro services are also likely to resume in a limited manner.
The Ministry of Human Resource Development is working on guidelines to reopen schools. Reports state that schools might reopen depending on whether they lie in red, orange, or green zones. Students of higher classes will also likely be the first ones to return to schools. Already, the Centre has allowed pending board examinations for Classes X and XII to be conducted between July 1-15.
During Lockdown 4.0, shops selling non-essential items were allowed to reopen and the fifth phase could see the reopening of more shops. A decision on reopening shopping malls will be taken soon, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday. Gyms, theaters, and religious places will perhaps continue to remain shut. However, West Bengal will reopen all places of worship from June 1.
Announcing the way forward after Lockdown 4.0, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said places of worship can reopen with a maximum of 10 persons present at a time. There shall be no major gathering or celebration of festivals. From June 8, all private/public sector offices can operate at full strength. The tea and jute industry will also open from June 1 with 100% workers.