Lockdown to go on till June 30; places of worship to open from June 8

New Delhi: The Coronavirus lockdown has been extended till June 30, but malls and restaurants can reopen from June 8 except in containment zones, or areas sealed because of a large number of virus cases.

Religious places, hotels and restaurants will also be allowed from June 8, the home ministry has said in its new guidelines ordering phased re-opening of areas outside containment zones.

Night curfew things in lockdown5 will be changed to 9 pm-5 am from the existing 7 pm-7am.

“The current phase of re-opening, Unlock 1, will have an economic focus,” said the guidelines.

The new guidelines had been issued based on extensive consultations held with States and Union Territories, the home ministry said.

All activities banned earlier will be opened up in areas outside Containment Zones in a phased manner, with SOPs to be prescribed by the Health Ministry.

A decision on reopening schools and colleges will be taken in July, after consultations with states, parents and other stake-holders.

International flights,metros, cinemas, gyms, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres and bars will also be allowed only after more consultations, “based on the assessment of the situation”, said the ministry.

Social, political, religious, cultural and other gatherings will stay banned for now.

In containment zones, only essential activities will be allowed till June 30. Exits and entry will be strictly controlled and there will be intensive contact tracing and house-to-house surveillance in these areas, the centre said.

There will be no restrictions on the movement of people or goods within states and between states.

India went into strict lockdown on March 25 to control the rapid spread of coronavirus. Since then, there have been three extensions with incremental easing of curbs. Today, the lockdown was extended for the fourth time.

Across the country, the number of COVID-19 cases has crossed 1.7 lakh and there have been close to 5,000 deaths.

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