Unlock 3.0 guidelines: Gyms allowed to reopen; night curfew removed
The Ministry of Home Affairs on Wednesday unveiled the guidelines for the third phase of unlocking from the coronavirus lockdown, called 'Unlock 3.0'. In a major relief, the central government allowed gymnasiums to reopen. However, schools and other educational institutes will continue to remain shut. The lockdown has been extended in containment zones till August 31. Here are more details.
Under the fresh guidelines, the Centre has allowed gyms and yoga institutes to reopen from August 5. The standard operating procedure (SOP) for the same will be issued by the Health Ministry. Gyms had remained shut since the lockdown was first imposed in March. The restrictions on the movement of individuals at night (the night curfew) have also been removed.
During Unlock 3.0, all activities will be permitted outside containment zones, except those specifically mentioned as restricted. Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will remain closed till August 31. The Centre encouraged online and distance learning. Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theaters, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls, and similar places will also remain closed along with international air travel of passengers.
Social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions and other large congregations will also not be allowed. Metro rail services will remain suspended. Dates for restarting the above activities may be decided separately and necessary SOPs will be issued, the guidelines added.
The lockdown will continue to remain limited to containment zones, that will be demarcated by district authorities in line with the Health Ministry's guidelines. States/UTs may identify buffer zones around containment zones. Only essential activities will be allowed in containment zones. There shall be no movement of people in/out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and maintaining the supply of essential goods/services.
The guidelines stated that celebrations for Independence Day—observed on August 15—will be allowed with social distancing and other health protocols. This applies to celebrations at home as well. The instructions issued by the Home Ministry in this regard on July 21 shall be followed.
Face masks are mandatory in public places/workplaces/transport. Individuals must maintain at least a six feet distance in public. Shops shall ensure physical distancing among customers. Spitting in public places will be fined. Large gatherings will continue to remain banned. Up to 50 guests are allowed for marriage gatherings and 20 for funeral/last rites gatherings. The consumption of liquor/paan/gutka/tobacco is banned in public.
Work from home should be followed as much as possible. Work/business hours in offices, workplaces, shops, markets, and industrial/commercial establishments should be staggered. Provisions for thermal screening, hand-wash, and sanitizer shall be made available at all entry/exit points and common areas. Workplaces, common places, and all points that come in human contact shall be frequently sanitized. Social distancing must be followed at the workplace.
"Movement by passenger trains and Shramik Special trains; domestic passenger air travel; movement of Indian nationals stranded outside the country and of specified persons to travel abroad; evacuation of foreign nationals; and sign-on/sign-off of Indian seafarers will continue to be regulated as per SOPs issued."
Workplaces shall continue to ensure that the Aarogya Setu app is installed by all employees having compatible phones on a "best effort basis." Vulnerable groups such as persons above the age of 65, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10, are advised to stay at home, except for essential and health purposes. State/UT governments shall not dilute these guidelines.
Based on their assessment, state/UT governments have been allowed to prohibit certain activities outside of containment zones. However, there shall be no restriction on interstate and intrastate movement of persons and goods including those for cross land-border trade under treaties with neighboring countries.