Unlock 5.0 and the new normal

Unlock 5.0: Relaxations and Restrictions Issued by the MHA

In line with the nation-wide plan, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has introduced new guidelines under “Unlock 5.0”. Applicable from October 15, the guidelines apply to everything from schools to cinema halls.  

In case you are confused about what all opens up, and what will still remain closed, we are here to help. All the regulations apply to non-containment zones. They are also subject to change by the state government, depending on the situation. So, here’s a quick look at what has changed.  

Indoor Venues Open with Unlock 5.0

From October 15, indoor venues like cinema halls, exhibition venues and swimming pools will be allowed to reopen. However, under Unlock 5.0 guidelines, indoor venues will be allowed to operate only within 50% of their capacity, with a limit of up to 200 people.   

That 200-person limit will also apply to all indoor social, cultural, political and academic gatherings. Only swimming pools used by sportspersons will be allowed to open, as per the MHA. No guidelines have been issued as of yet to reopen gyms.  

Outdoor Venues 

Amusement parks will be allowed to reopen, subject to Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Under Unlock 5.0, outdoor gatherings will be permitted, without a specific limit on the number of people.  

The MHA has asked organisers to keep in mind the ground size, so that social distancing can be followed. The government has stated that it will enforce mask wearing, sanitization and thermal screening for all such activities.  

Educational Institutions

Unlock 5.0 has also permitted the reopening of educational institutions such as schools, colleges and coaching centres from October 15. However, the MHA has asked institutions to encourage virtual learning to reduce risk. In case students have to return to the classroom, they can only do so- 

  1. With the written consent of their parents 
  1. Physical attendance is optional, i.e. it cannot be made mandatory 

The MHA has said that Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of educational institutions was completely up to the state/union territory government. For colleges and other higher educational institutions, the MHA said “in the immediate future, institutions only for research scholars and post graduate students from the sciences and technology streams that require laboratory work will be permitted to open.” 

Unlock 5.0 relaxations and restrictions

Containment Zones 

All the above relaxations will apply to non-containment zones. The MHA said that containment zones would remain in lockdown till 31st October. Click here to view the contaminated zones in Karnataka issued by the BBMP (as of 05/10/20). 

Unlock 5.0 guidelines also state that state governments cannot impose local lockdowns outside containment zones, without the explicit approval of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. All containment zones need to be updated on the websites of the respective District Collectors as well as the state/union territory government website. 

Other Regulations Under Unlock 5.0 

Inter-state and intra-state travel will continue to be allowed, except to/from containment zones. The MHA has done away with the requirement for passes for travel. Public transport has also been allowed to resume, but with a 50% capacity limit.  

International air travel still remains restricted under Unlock 5.0, except for repatriation flights and those belonging to the air corridor. Domestic air travel will continue, but with guidelines issued by the state government.  

In case you are planning to step out, there are still several precautions you need to take. These include: 

  • Avoiding crowded lifts and escalators.   
  • Using public transport only if necessary. Where possible, use your own vehicle or a service like Ola/Uber. 
  • Using your elbows to open doors and press buttons rather than your fingers. 
  • Avoiding surfaces that are common contact points in public, like doors, handrails, tables and chairs unless necessary. If you do touch them, remember to sanitize your hands.  

Healthcare, especially during COVID-19, cannot be taken lightly. Which is why we at Onsurity are doing our bit to help. our healthcare plans are comprehensive with both preventive and reactive care. That way, your employees can focus on doing their best work, without worrying about the pandemic.  

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