The second phase of government’s lockdown lift-up plan will conclude on July 31 and the Centre is formulating guidelines for Unlock 3.0 which will come into force from August 1.
As per reports, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be holding discussions with chief ministers and representatives of Union Territories on Monday over the current situation and the strategy for Unlock 3.0.
The government is working upon a few more relaxations in the third instalment of the phase lifting of lockdown, which may include reopening of cinema halls, and gymnasiums.
However, schools and colleges are unlikely to open in wake of the unabated rise in number of coronavirus cases across states. Metro train services are also likely to remain suspended next month.
States might be given more authority to set their own guidelines depending upon their respective caseload and situation.
As per news agency IANS, the I&B Ministry has sent a recommendation to the Home Ministry to allow cinema halls across the country to reopen from August. I&B secretary Amit Khare, in an interaction with CII Media Committee last week, suggested that movie theatres all over India may be allowed to reopen as early as August 1 or at the latest around August 31.
As per his recommendations, theatres will have alternate seats in the first row and then the next row to be kept vacant and proceeding in this fashion throughout. Khare said that his ministry’s recommendation takes into consideration the two-metre social distancing norm, but tweaks it gently to two yards instead.
The cinema owners, present in the interaction, however, termed the two yards formula as ‘unwise’ and said that running the films with only 25 per cent capacity of theatres is worse than keeping them shut.
Schools and Colleges
FICCI said the government may decide to open educational institutions and schools depending on the local situation of Covid-19 cases.
When announcing the Unlock plan, the Centre had said that states may decide on reopening of schools and colleges depending upon the COVID-19 situation and after consultation with educational institutions and students’ parents.
Metro Train Services
Metro train services, which have been closed since March 25 as part of the coronavirus-induced lockdown, are likely to remain suspended in all likelihood in wake of the alarming rise in COVID-19 cases and deaths.
Sources have told Jagran English that the Centre might not reopen metro services as the number of coronavirus cases is rising in India. “Expectations are very low,” said Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) sources.
- Industry group FICCI said on Monday that Indian and foreign carriers should be now be allowed to operate and the country should let in foreigners on a reciprocal basis.
- FICCI said clear-cut dates should be announced by the states to open tourism, monuments, tourist attractions, hotels, restaurants and bars.
- All restaurants and eateries in a hotel should be allowed to serve the resident as well as non-resident guests at 50 per cent seating capacity while maintaining social distancing norms and all necessary precautions.
- Permission should be granted for hosting all kinds of banquet and conference in the hotel. Covid-19 test before arrival is an expensive and inconvenient requirement which is there in some states. This should be removed, said FICCI. Temperature checks, use of masks and social distancing should, of course, be mandated.
Gymansiums and swimming pools may also be allowed to reopen with strict restrictions like limited capacity and calibrated timings.
India’s COVID-19 case count crossed the 14 lakh mark, while the number of recoveries went past 9 lakh on Sunday. Last few days have seen cases increasing at an alarming rate of around 50,000 per day.