Ahead of festivals including Diwali, the govt has decided to further moved to allow almost all activities by allowing a graded restart. The latest easing of curbs permitted more activities in areas outside the containment zones. Meanwhile, lockdown will continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones till October 31.
1. CINEMAS, THEATRES, MULTIPLEXES NOW A REALITY AGAIN
After being shut since March 25 due to the coronavirus pandemic, cinema halls across the country are set to reopen October 15 onwards. According to the latest guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), cinemas, theatres and multiplexes can open in areas outside the containment zones from October 15 with up to 50 percent of their seating capacity. The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Welcome the move, the Multiplex Association of India (MAI) said the decision was widely awaited by millions of movie lovers, employees of the cinema exhibition sector, along with the entire film industry.
2. ENTERTAINMENT PARKS
Entertainment parks and similar places will be permitted to open from October 15. The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in this regard.
3. SWIMMING POOLS
The government has also permitted the usage of swimming pools for training of sportspersons. SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
4. SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES
- States and UT governments have been given the flexibility to take a decision on re-opening of schools and coaching institutions in a graded manner after October 15. According to the MHA guidelines, the decision shall be taken in consultation with the respective school/institution management, based on their assessment of the situation. Meanwhile, the government elaborated certain conditions for the same.
- Online/distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged.
- Where schools are conducting online classes, and some students prefer to attend online classes rather than physically attend school, they may be permitted to do so.
- Students may attend schools/institutions only with the written consent of parents.
- Attendance must not be enforced, and must depend entirely on parental consent.
- Schools, which are allowed to open, will have to mandatorily follow the SOP set to be issued by the Education Departments of States/UTs.
- Department of Higher Education (DHE), Ministry of Education will take a decision on the timing of the opening of colleges and other higher education institutions, in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), based on the assessment of the situation. However, online/distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged, the guidelines stated.
- The government said higher education institutions only for research scholars (PH.D) and post-graduate students in science and technology stream requirig laboratory/experimental works will be permitted to open from October 15 - (a) for centrally funded higher education institutions, the head of institution will satisfy herself/himself that there is a genuine requirement of research scholars (Ph.D) and post-graduate students in science and technology stream for lab/experimental works. (b) for all other higher education institutions and state universities, private universities etc, they may open only for research scholars (Ph.D) and post-graduate students in science and technology stream for lab/experimental works as per decision to be taken by the respective state/UT governments.
According to the new guidelines, international travel, except those permitted by the Centre, continues to remain shut.