Crescent Kashmir

Lockdown extended till June 30; malls to open, no to cinema halls, metro trains

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The Centre on Saturday extended the lockdown in containment zones till June 30 and said all economic activities can restart in a phased manner outside those zones.

The fourth phase of the nationwide lockdown, necessitated by the coronavirus outbreak, was scheduled to end tomorrow.

The order said there will be strict enforcement of lockdown in containment zones.

New guidelines, the MHA said, have been issued after extensive consultations with states and union territories. Home minister Amit Shah fronted the discussions with chief ministers on Thursday. He then met Prime Minister Modi, informing him about the inputs from various CMs. On Saturday, the home ministry extended the lockdown.

In Phase I, the order said, religious places and places of worship for public, hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services and shopping malls will be permitted to open from June 8.

The health ministry will issue SOPs for the above activities, in consultation with the Central Ministries and departments concerned and other stakeholders, for ensuring social distancing and to contain the spread of Covid-19.

In Phase II, schools, colleges, etc will be opened. The state governments have been advised to hold consultations at the institution level with parents and other stakeholders. Based on the feedback, a decision on the re-opening of these institutions will be taken in the month of July, 2020. The ministry will then prepare SOP for these institutions.

Only a limited number of activities will remain prohibited throughout the country. These are: International air travel of passengers, operation of Metro Rail, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars and auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places. Also, social, political, sporting activities, cultural, and religious functions and other large congregations will remain out of bounds. In Phase III, dates for their opening will be decided based on assessment of the situation.

The containment zones will be demarcated by the states after taking into consideration the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry. Within the containment zones, strict perimeter control shall be maintained and only essential activities allowed.

There shall be no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods. Also, no separate permission or approval or any e-permit will be required for such movements.

On the question of night curfew, the order said, it will remain in force for all non-essential activities. However, the revised timings of the curfew will be from 9 pm to 5 am.

People above 65 years of age, with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years are advised to stay at home.


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