The Centre announced the guidelines for Unlock 2 on Monday night which, it said, will be in force till July 31. Almost all activities are being allowed outside containment zones save a few like operation of schools, colleges, international travel among others.
"Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will remain closed till 31 July, 200," said a government order. However, online learning will not only be permitted but encouraged during this period. Training institutions of the Central and state governments will be allowed to function with effect from July 15.
While domestic flight operations will be further enhanced, the ban on normal international operations continues. But Vande Bharat mission and specific exemptions, as allowed by the government, will continue to function and its scope may be enhanced in the future on further assessments.
Night curfew timings are being further relaxed and curfew shall be in force from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. "Further, relaxations in night curfew have been given for seamless operation of industrial units in multiple shifts, movement of persons and goods on National and State Highways, loading and unloading of cargo and movement of persons to their destinations after disembarking from buses, trains and airplanes," the government said.
Shops depending upon their area, can have more than 5 customers at a time. However, they have to maintain adequate physical distance.
Meanwhile, Metro Rail, cinema halls, gymnasiums, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places continue to remain out of bound.
In what can be a dampener for political parties, the government continues to bar "social/political/sports/entertainment/academic/cultural/religious functions and other large congregations".
With the new guidelines, that will come into effect from July 1, the process of phased re-opening of activities has been extended further. The new guidelines, issued on Monday, are based on feedback received from States and Union Territories and "extensive consultations" held with related Central Ministries and Departments, said the government.
However, for those inside containment zones, there will be hardly any reprieve.
After Unlock 1 kicked in, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed that India should ensure a balance of life and livelihood, and places of worship, hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services as well as shopping malls were allowed to open outside containment zones.
On Sunday, the Prime Minister, in his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat', stressed about the need of carefulness to curb the spread of the pandemic and urge the citizens to be more vigilant in the unlock period.
"During this unlock period, one will have to focus deeply on two points- defeating corona and strengthening the economy and bolstering it," said Modi.