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Coronavirus Lockdown: Union Home Ministry issues guidelines for Unlock 4, metro rail to operate from 7th September

Another activity that the govt has allowed to resume is social / academic / sports / entertainment / cultural / religious / political events

The Union Home Ministry has the guidelines for Unlock 4, the fourth stage of unlocking following the lockdown that was imposed on the country in May to combat the Coronavirus pandemic. The unlock 4 will start on 1st September, as the term of unlock 3 expires on 1st August.

The most significate decision taken by the union govt is restarting metro rail services in the country. The MHA guideline says that Metro rail will be allowed to operate with effect from 7th September. The services will be started in a graded manner, and standard operating procedure in terms of Coronavirus will have to be followed.

Another activity that the govt has allowed to resume is social / academic / sports / entertainment / cultural / religious / political events. Such events will be allowed from 21st September, but only a maximum of 100 persons will be allowed at a time. Coronavirus prevention measures like mandatory face masks, social distancing, thermal screening and hand wash or sanitiser will be required in such events.

Similarly, open air theatres will be allowed to operate from 21st September under Unlock 4.

Educational institutions like schools, colleges, coaching institutes etc will remain closed till 30 September, the MHA statement said. Schools and Colleges will continue with online classes. However, later on the schools may be allowed to call teaching and non-teaching staff to the school premises for such online classes from 21st September. The Union health ministry will issue guidelines for the same, and states will be able to permit schools outside containment zones to call 50% of staff for online teaching and related works.

Apart from this, students of classes 9 to 12 will be allowed to visit their schools outside containment zones for taking guidance from teachers. But it sill be voluntary for students, and they will need written consent of parents/guardians for visiting schools.

Skill or entrepreneurship trainings under various govt schemes and institutions will be permitted to be restarted. In higher education, only research scholars doing PhD and post-graduate students requiring laboratory or experimental tasks will be allowed to visit their institutions.

Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, indoor theatres and similar places will continue to be shut.

The MHA also says that state and union territory governments will not issue any additional lockdown outside containment zones without the consultation with central government. The statement reiterates that there is no restriction on inter-state and intra-state movement of people and goods. No separate approval/permit is needed for such movements.

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