Center extends Unlock 5 guidelines till November 30: What you must know?

As the country has just left with four days to hit the deadline of the fifth and current phase of the unlocking process to gradually pull the country out of the lockdown, the Ministry of Home Affairs had on Tuesday extended the Unlock 5.0 guidelines till November 30. These guidelines were issued on September 30 for the month of October and the Central government has now carried forward the same set of guidelines for November. 

According to reports, the Central government had made no changes in the guidelines as most of the suspended services had got resumed in the Unlock phases and the guidelines of Unlock 5 will continue to play its role in November like how it played in October. As the country has been nearing the festive seasons in November, the Center had appealed to the people to adhere to the guidelines and protocols issued by the government to mitigate and curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As part of the Unlock 5 guidelines, the Center had permitted the resumption of movie theaters with 50 percent capacity, metro rail services, and some of the establishments on the entertainment corridors. The guidelines had permitted the resumption of places like shopping malls, hotels, restaurants, religious places, and hospitality services, yoga and training institutes, entertainment parks, and gymnasiums. 

With pronouncing the large-scale relaxations, the government had provided Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) concerning the resumptions and directing the people to stick to these procedures. The government had also permitted social, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious, and political events, and other congregations in closed spaces with a maximum of 50% of the hall capacity and subject to a ceiling of 200 persons. 

The Union Home Ministry had highlighted Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address to the nation recently in which he had appealed to the people to be more cautious and to take precautionary measures during the festival season. The Home Ministry pressed that there will be no restriction on inter and intra-state movements of people and goods. The Union Ministry reiterated that no separate permission or approval will be required from the state governments for such movements. 

The Central government has advised the geriatric people with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of ten years to stay at home and appealed to such people to refrain from exiting the home unnecessarily. The government has also instructed the people to download and use the 'Aarogya Setu App'. 

The Home Ministry has permitted the state governments to decide on resuming the public places by taking the COVID-19 situation into account and the Central government had said that the lockdown and status quo guidelines will be strictly in place in the containment zones till November 30. The Home Ministry has stated that the state governments shall not impose any lockdown outside the containment zones without prior consultation with the Central government.