Govt releases unlock 4 guidelines; Metro services to resume from September 7; School,Colleges to remain closed till Sep 30

The Home Ministry has issued new guidelines for opening up of more activities in areas outside the Containment Zones. In Unlock-4, which will come into effect from 1st of September, the process of phased re-opening of activities has been extended further.
 
Metro rail will be allowed to operate with effect from 7th September in a graded manner, by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Ministry of Railways in consultation with Home Ministry. Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in this regard will be issued by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
 
Social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, political functions and other congregations will be permitted with a ceiling of 100 persons, from 21st of September. However, such limited gatherings can be held with mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitizer.  Open air theatres will be permitted to open with effect from 21st of September.
 
The Home Ministry said, after extensive consultation with States and Union Territories, it has been decided that schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will continue to remain closed for students and regular class activity up to 30th September. Online or distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged.
 
Lockdown will continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones till 30th of September. All activities shall be permitted outside Containment Zones, except cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres excluding open air theatre and similar places and international air travel of passengers, except as permitted by Home Ministry.
 
There will be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods. No separate permission or approval or e-permit will be required for such movements.
 
Home Ministry advised states not to impose any local lockdown outside Containment Zones.
 
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. Home Ministry will monitor the effective implementation of National Directives.
 
Vulnerable persons, persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years, are advised to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes.
 
The Ministry said that states and Union Territory governments may permit up to 50 per cent of teaching and non-teaching staff to be called to the schools at a time for online teaching or tele-counselling and related work.
 
Students of classes 9 to 12 may be permitted to visit their schools in areas outside the containment zones only on a voluntary basis for taking guidance from their teachers.
 
This will be subject to the written consent of their parents or guardians, according to the guidelines.
 
The Home Ministry said that states and Union Territory governments may permit up to 50 per cent of teaching and non-teaching staff to be called to the schools at a time for online teaching or tele-counselling and related work.
 
Students of classes 9 to 12 may be permitted to visit their schools in areas outside the containment zones only on a voluntary basis for taking guidance from their teachers.
 
This will be subject to the written consent of their parents or guardians.
 
Home Ministry said, the new guidelines, are based on feedback received from States and UTs, and extensive consultations held with related Central Ministries and Departments.

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