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Places of worship, hospitality services, malls to open from June 8; containment zones to remain in lockdown till June 30

New Delhi:  The countrywide lockdown in containment zones has been extended till June 30, while hospitality services, hotels and shopping malls will be allowed to open from June 8, the Union Home ministry said on Saturday.

Termed ‘Unlock 1’, the Centre on Saturday issued fresh guidelines relaxing the nationwide lockdown, the fourth phase of which ends on May 31.

In the new directives, the Union Home ministry said re-opening of prohibited activities in areas outside containment zones will be done in a phased manner from June 01.

It said the lockdown, the fourth phase of which ends on Sunday, will remain in force in containment zones till June 30. Religious places of worship for public, hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and other hospitality services will be opened from June 08, the guidelines stated.

The decision to restart international air travel, metro trains, cinema halls, gyms, political gatherings will be done after assessing the situation, it said.

Schools, colleges, educational, training, coaching institutions will be opened after consultations with states and Union Territories, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines said.

It added that states and UTs can hold consultations with parents and other stakeholders on reopening of academic institutions from July.

The fresh guidelines also revised the night curfew timing stating movement of individuals will now be prohibited between 9 pm and 5 am across the country.

Salient features of new guidelines

*All activities that were prohibited earlier will be opened up in areas outside Containment Zones in a phased manner, with the stipulation of following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), to be prescribed by the Health Ministry:

*In Phase I, religious places and places of worship for public; hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services; and shopping malls; will be permitted to open from June 08, 2020.

*In Phase II, schools, colleges, educational/ training/coaching institutions etc., will be opened after consultations with States and UTs. State governments/ UT administrations are being advised to hold consultations at the institution level with parents and other stakeholders.

*Only a limited number of activities will remain prohibited throughout the country. These activities 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; and, social/political/sports/entertainment/academic/cultural/religious functions/and other large congregations.

*Lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones.

*There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission/approval/e-permit will be required for such movements.

*States and UTs, based on their assessment of the situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the containment zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary.

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