Is it Lockdown 5.0 or Unlock 1? Many have been asking this question ever since the guidelines, in view of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, were made public Saturday evening. "The current phase of re-opening, Unlock 1, will have an economic focus," the government said in the official release laying down guidelines that will remain effective from June 1, 2020, till June 30, 2020.
"MHA issues new guidelines; Phased re-opening of all activities outside containment zones (Unlock 1), Strict enforcement of lockdown in containment zones," the headline of the press release reads. The focus has been on "Unlock 1" as is elaborated upon in the entire release while it also simultaneously calls for strict enforcement of "lockdown" in containment zones. As stated by the government, the current phase of "re-opening", Unlock 1, will have an economic focus.
Further, it mentions that the lockdown measures have been relaxed in a "graded manner" also keeping the objective of containing the spread of COVID-19 in view.
Thereon, the guidelines are divided into three phases mentioning major activities that will be permitted. Religious places, hotels, restaurants are among major additions that have been allowed to open from June 8. Schools, colleges and educational institutions too will be opened after consultation with states and UTs. Among those still prohibited are international air travel of passengers, metro, cinema halls, and places of gathering.
Moving on, it again stresses on strict implementation of the lockdown in the containment zones that will demarcated by the state/UT governments. "Within the containment zones, strict perimeter control shall be maintained and only essential activities allowed," it adds.
Inter-state and intra-state movement of persons and goods has also been allowed. No separate permissions will be needed now.
A night curfew shall continue to remain in force between 9 pm to 5 am for all non-essential activities.
In the end, the release says that states may prohibit certain activities outside the containment zones or impose restrictions as deemed necessary.
This is not an extension of the full lockdown. The complete lockdown applies only to containment zones. UNLOCK 1, as the relaxations clearly highlight, is what it actually is.