COVID-19 Update || Unlock IV Guidelines

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While the nation has already spent close to 50% of the year battling the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian Government has been relentlessly taking necessary steps to contain the spread of COVID-19 and restore normalcy. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued new guidelines on August 29, 2020 to re-open more activities in areas outside containment zones (Unlock IV Guidelines). The lockdown has been extended in containment zones till September 30, 2020.

Since our previous update, the key points to note under the Unlock IV Guidelines are as under:

1.     Permitted and restricted activities: In areas outside the containment zones,

a.     Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will continue to remain closed for students and regular classes up to September 30, 2020.  However, certain activities, including the following will be permitted:
•      Online / distance learning will continue to be permitted and encouraged;
•    Effective September 21, 2020, up to 50% of teaching and non-teaching staff will be permitted to visit school, for online teaching/tele-counselling, subject to adherence with standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW); and
•     Effective September 21, 2020, students of grades 9 to 12 may be permitted to visit their schools, on a voluntary basis, subject to written consent of their parents, for which SOPs will be issued by the MoHFW.
b.     International air travel of passengers will continue to be restricted, except as permitted by the MHA;
c.     Metro rail will be allowed to operate with effect from September 7, 2020 in a graded manner, for which SOPs will be issued;
d.    Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, etc. will remain closed. However, open air theatres will be permitted to open, with effect from September 21, 2020; and
e.     With effect from September 21, 2020, social, academic, sports, entertainment, political, cultural, religious functions and other congregations will be permitted with a cap of 100 people.

2.     No local lockdown: The States and the Union Territory Governments shall not impose any local lockdown in state/district, sub-division or city level, outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the Central Government.

3.     The guidelines in relation to the following remain the same as provided in our previous update on Unlock III Guidelines:

a.     Restriction in Containment Zones;
b.     Use of Aarogya Setu application;
c.     National Directives for COVID-19 management in public and at workplace; and
d.     Movement of persons with SOPs.

Please see here for our dedicated COVID – 19 legal resource page.

Date: September 1, 2020