Unlock 4: MHA allows Metro to roll out from Sept 7
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Mumbai: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Saturday issued new guidelines for opening up of more activities including resumption of Metro services in areas outside the Containment Zones.

The Metro rail will be allowed to operate with effect from September 7 in a graded manner. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs will issue Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the same. Further, social, political, academic, sports, religious and other functions will be allowed with a limit of 100 people as part of the new rules from September 21.

Open air theatres will also be permitted to open with effect from September 21. The "Unlock 4" phase, which will come into effect from September 1, will be in place till September 30. This was necessitated as the last set of guidelines for Unlock 3 will come to an end on July 30. The lockdown shall continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones till September 30, 2020.

Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar said, "The state government will issue its guidelines on Sunday or early Monday morning." However, schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will continue to remain closed for students and regular class activity till September 30. In addition, swimming pools and indoor theatres will also remain shut. The ministry has made it clear that States are not to impose any local lockdown outside Containment Zones. There is no restriction on Inter-State and intra-State movement. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation said, "As per the latest guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs under Unlock 4, the Delhi Metro will resume its services for public from September 7 in a calibrated manner."

"Further details on the Metro functioning and its usage by the general public will be shared once the detailed SOP on metros is issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in the next few days," it added. Schools & Colleges: States/ UTs may permit up to 50% of teaching and non-teaching staff to be called to the schools at a time for online teaching/ tele- counselling and related work. Students of classes 9 to 12 may be permitted to visit their schools, in areas outside the Containment Zones only, on a voluntary basis. This will be subject to written consent of their parents/ guardians.

Skill or Entrepreneurship training will be permitted in National Skill Training Institutes, Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), Short term training centres registered with National Skill Development Corporation or State Skill Development Missions or other Ministries of Government of India or State Governments. National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD), Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE) and their training providers will also be permitted.

Higher Education Institutions only for research scholars (Ph.D.) and post-graduate students of technical and professional programmes requiring laboratory/ experimental works. These will be permitted by the Department of Higher Education (DHE) in consultation with MHA, based on the assessment of the situation, and keeping in view the incidence of COVID-19 in the States/ UTs. All activities, except the following, shall be permitted outside containment zones: Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres (excluding open air theatre) and similar places. (ii) International air travel of passengers, except as permitted by MHA.

Guidelines:

· No restriction on Inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit required

· Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will continue to remain closed till September 30

· Swimming pools and indoor theatres will also remain shut

· National directives for COVID-19 management shall continue to be followed throughout the country

· Shops will need to maintain physical distancing among customers

· Persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below 10 advised to stay at home

· Use of Aarogya Setu mobile application will continue to be encouraged

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