CORONAVIRUS

Unlock 5 in India: possible further relaxations in October

The country is about to enforce the fifth phase of easing lockdown restrictions despite the continued daily struggle the country is witnessing with Covid-19 cases.

Unlock 5 in India: possible further relaxations in October
ANUSHREE FADNAVIS REUTERS

The Indian Union Health Ministry is expected to announce new guidelines to ease more Covid-19 lockdown restrictions as Unlock 5 is set to commence in October.

The country has been in the fourth phase of eased restrictions since the beginning of September, meanwhile, the government announced last month that more restrictions are to be eased as per unlock 5 in the government's bid to revive the country's economy that has been significantly contracting since the Covid-19 pandemic started.

What kind of relaxations to expect

While other public places like malls, salons, restaurants, gyms have been given the nod to reopen under some restrictions, cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks have still not received permission to operate. Some reports claim that cinema halls will be permitted to operate as of 1 October while opposing claims confirm that no decision has been made yet. However, only open-air theatres were allowed to restart their operations as of September 21.

West Bengal remains the only state to have announced the re-opening of cinemas as of 1 October with restrictions on the number of people.

Sin tituloPeople in need sit while maintaining social distancing following Covid-19 Coronavirus guidelines, in front of a restaurant offering free meals in Ahmedabad on September 19, 2020. (Photo by SAM PANTHAKY / AFP)

Reviving tourism and its related sectors

Like any other sector, the tourism sector in India has had its share of the impact, that's why the Sikkim government allowed hotels, home-stays, and other tourism-related services to restart operations from 10 October. The state has also decided to open its border with West Bengal for unrestricted movement of vehicles from October 1.

Kerala tourism may also reopen in October following a meeting between the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) representatives and tourism minister Kadakampally Surendran where the matter was discussed.

Moreover, it's no longer mandatory for tourists in Uttarakhand to carry a negative Covid-19 test result.

Dine-in restaurants in Maharashtra have been given the green light to re-open and provide their services during the first week of October as restaurants have been only allowed to provide take-out services since the re-opening in June.