NEW DELHI: In view of the ongoing festival season and the continuing pandemic, the government on Tuesday decided against announcing further relaxations in the Unlock conditions till November end. The guidelines for reopening activities issued on September 30 for the month of October will continue to remain in force till the end of next month, stated an order issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
In the September 30 guidelines, the MHA had allowed additional activities like opening of cinemas, theatres and multiplexes with up to 50 per cent capacity in areas outside the containment zones.
Those guidelines were to be in force till October 31. Tuesday’s order extended this period till November 30, a home ministry spokesperson said.
According to the guidelines, international travel, except those permitted by the Centre, would remain shut while state and UT governments were given the flexibility to decide on reopening of schools and coaching institutions in a graded manner.
The guidelines also allowed opening of Business to Business (B2B) exhibitions, swimming pools used for training of sportspersons, entertainment parks and some other similar places.
Political gatherings in poll-bound Bihar and those constituencies where by-elections will be held were allowed with attendance of a maximum of 200 people in a close space or hall and in an open space depending on its size. The political gatherings can be held only outside the containment zones. However, the lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in containment zones during the period.
The coronavirus induced country-wide lockdown was first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from March 25 and it was extended in phases till May 31.
The Unlock process in the country had begun on June 1 with the graded reopening of commercial, social, religious and other activities.
According to health ministry’s Tuesday’s data, the number of Covid cases reported in a span of 24 hours dropped below 40,000 after over three months.