New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday announced the implementation of Unlock 3 and also issued guidelines regarding the same, allowing more activities outside Covid-19 containment zones. The recent announced by the government comes as move to further reopen the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Unlock 3.0 will come into effect from August 1.

As per the announcement, MHA has removed restrictions on the movement of individuals during night-time and Yoga institutes and gymnasiums will be allowed to operate from August 5. However, schools, colleges and coaching institutions will remain closed till August 31.

“All activities, except the following, shall be permitted outside containment zones – Metro Rail, cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls & similar places,” the government order stated.

The order also mentioned that Unlock 3.0 guidelines are aimed at opening up more activities in areas outside the Containment Zones.

“The process of phased re-opening of activities has been extended further. The new guidelines are based on feedback received from states and UTs, and extensive consultations held with related central ministries and departments,” the MHA order added.

The Home Ministry, however, clarified that the Union Health Ministry will issue a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Unlock 3 which will ensure social distancing norms and contain the spread of Covid-19.

On reopening of schools and other educational institutions, the government said that after extensive consultation with states and UTs, it has been decided that schools, colleges and coaching institutions will remain closed till August 31.

Here’s what will still remain closed:

* Metro rail services

* Cinema halls and theatres

* Swimming pools

* Entertainment parks

* Bars & Pubs, auditoriums, assembly halls etc.

* Social/ political/ sports/ cultural/ religious functions and other large gatherings.

The guidelines also stated that Independence Day functions will be allowed with social distancing and by following other health protocols, e.g., wearing of masks etc.

International air travel of passengers has been permitted in a limited manner under the Vande Bharat mission.  Further opening up will take place in a calibrated manner.

The order also stated that lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones till August 31. “Containment Zones are required to be carefully demarcated by the State/ UT governments with a view to contain the spread of COVID-19, after taking into consideration the guidelines issued by MOHFW,” MHA order said adding that within the containment zones, strict perimeter control shall be maintained and only essential activities allowed.

States to decide on activities outside Containment Zones

States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the Containment zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary. However, there shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit will be required for such movements.

National Directives for COVID-19 management

National Directives for COVID-19 management shall continue to be followed throughout the country, with a view to ensure social distancing.  Shops will need to maintain adequate physical distancing among customers. MHA will monitor the effective implementation of National Directives.

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