The Indian government has issued new guidelines for a phased re-opening of all activities outside containment zones for the next one month, reported news agency ANI. The nationwide lockdown will continue until 30 June with only essential activities allowed.
In phase one, religious places and places of worship for the public; hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services; and shopping malls; will be permitted to open from 8 June. The government will issue guidelines in this regard later.
In phase two, schools, colleges, educational/ training/ coaching institutions etc., will be opened after consultations with States and Union Territories.
In phase three, dates for the opening of International air travel of passengers; operation of Metro Rail; cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks etc will be decided based on the assessment of the situation.
— ANI (@ANI) May 30, 2020
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs has said that the movement of individuals shall remain strictly prohibited between 9 pm to 5 am throughout the country, except for essential activities.
According to the MHA guidelines, international air travel, metro rail, social, political, sports, entertainment, cultural and other large congregations including religious shall also remain suspended, adding that a decision on these would be taken after making an assessment of the situation.
The MHA order also said that there shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods and no additional permission required for such travels. But, if a state or UT, based on reasons of public health and its assessment of the situation, proposes to regulate the movement of persons, it will give wide publicity in advance regarding the restrictions to be placed on such movement, and the related procedures to be followed.
However, the state governments will be free to not implement any of these guidelines even in non-containment zones if they felt that lifting restrictions was not in their interest.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the first nationwide lockdown on 24 March to fight the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the lockdown has been extended three times with the current phase scheduled to end on 31 May.
The government has announced many relaxations during lockdown 4 by opening the air spaces and resuming train services.