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India 'Unlock 5': cinema halls and schools guidance for 15 October

The central government issued unlock 5 guidelines with new relaxations set to be in force starting 15 October.

People wearing facemasks as a preventive measure against the Covid-19 coronavirus jog along the Marine Drive waterfront in Mumbai on September 30, 2020. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)

The Indian centre has issued new guidelines regarding lockdown restrictions that were initially imposed in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. The country is set to commence the fifth phase of lifting the restrictions, known as 'Unlock 5'.

Unlock 5 guidelines

As per the new orders, cinema halls, theatres, and multiplexes are allowed to re-open as of 15 October, although only 50% seating capacity is allowed. The Ministry of Home Affairs has also allowed schools to re-open from 15 October in a graded manner giving the option to states and union territories to decide for themselves whether or not it's the right time for this move.

The government has also lifted limitations on outdoor gathering as more than 100 people are allowed to congregate in open areas away from containment zones while indoor gatherings are still bound to 50% capacity with a maximum number of 200 people. Wearing face masks, maintaining social distance, provision for thermal scanning and the use of hand sanitizer will be mandatory.

Furthermore, swimming pools used for training purposes, Business to Business (B2B) exhibitions, entertainment parks , and similar places are permitted to reopen from 15 October.

A statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs explained that the new decisions were taken based on the feedback received from different states "The new guidelines, issued today, are based on feedback received from States and UTs, and extensive consultations held with related central ministries and departments," the statement said.

However, strict lockdown will remain imposed in containment zones until 31 October with only essential activities allowed.

India's Covid-19 caseload surpassed the 6.3 million mark on Thursday while the country has reported more than 98,000 deaths so far.