Unlock 3.0: Schools, metros to remain shut; Cinemas, gyms likely to open, say sources

GOVT.NEWS

With the Covid-19 restrictions of ‘Unlock 2.0’ ending on Friday (July 31), the government is now formulating guidelines for Unlock 3.0 which will come into force from August, sources said on Sunday.

For Unlock 3, the third installation in the phased easing of lockdown restrictions, a few more relaxations are being worked upon by the government.

These might include relaxations in reopening of cinema halls from August 1 but with some SOPs such as strict social distancing in place, sources said.

However, some restrictions are likely to continue in Unlock 3. Schools and metro train services are likely to remain shut across the country, sources said.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) began consultation with states on reopening of schools in a meeting chaired by Secretary of School Education, Anita Karwal.

HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal had said earlier that feedback would be sought from parents on the issue. Subsequently, the ministry said that parents were not in favour of reopening of schools.

According to sources, gyms are also likely to be reopened in the third phase.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has proposed the reopening of cinema halls to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The IB ministry had consulted the owners of cinema halls before presenting the proposal.

Cinema hall owners are in favour of reopening theatres with 50 per cent seating capacity. However, the ministry has suggested reopening theatres with 25 per cent seating initially and following all the social distancing protocols.

Further, states might be given more authority to set their own guidelines as per their Covid-19 case load and situation.

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