As the country grapples with rising coronavirus infections, Unlock 2.0 is coming to an end on July 31st. Finally, the details are out and we know what will open and what will not.
The new guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs have removed the night curfew completely and has allowed gymnasiums and Yoga centres to operate. Nothing much has changed in the new guidelines.
Schools, metros and cinema halls, as well as international travel will remain suspended.
Earlier this month, a parents’ association in Delhi wrote to Union HRD minister asking not to open schools in 2020-21 academic year or till a vaccine is developed. They wrote:
The order to shut all schools…had been made on March 16 when the number of infected cases were in the hundreds. Now, it has crossed 10 lakh cases… To deliberate upon reopening schools in this situation is in itself laughable.
Last week, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had sent a recommendation to the home ministry asking for cinema halls to be allowed to reopen either by 1st August or around 31st August.
The I&B ministry proposed a formula for cinema halls to reopen. The formula suggests alternate seats in the first row and the next row be kept empty and proceed the same way in the whole theatre. But it seems cinema halls will have to wait till August end for new guidelines.
Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) also came up with detailed sector-wise guidelines to reopen schools, international travel, tourism and theatres.
For cinema halls, the report suggested a gap between seats and regular sanitisation of venues and transactions for tickets and food through digital mode only.
While gym and Yoga centres are opening from 5th august, it will be interesting to see how many people will actually choose to go and workout in a place where everyone will be breathing heavily in a close AC environment.