Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will remain closed for students till September 30, with some relaxations for students of classes nine to 12, the Union Home Ministry in the Unlock 4 guidelines.
The Home Ministry said in the revised COVID-19 unlock-4 guidelines issued on Saturday that political, social, sports, entertainment, cultural, and religious congregations of up to 100 people will be permitted from September 21. However, such gatherings can be held with the mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, and provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitizer, the guidelines stated.
The ministry also said state governments should consult with the Central government before not impose any local lockdown outside the containment zones.
Although schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will remain closed for students till September 30, states and Union territory governments may allow up to 50 per cent of teaching and non-teaching staff to be called to the schools for online teaching or tele-counselling and related work at a particular time. And, students of classes 9 to 12 may be permitted to visit their schools in areas outside the containment zones only on a voluntary basis for taking guidance from their teachers. This will be subject to the written consent of their parents or guardians, the ministry stated.
Skill or entrepreneurship training will be permitted in National Skill Training Institutes, Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), Short term training centres registered with National Skill Development Corporation or State Skill Development Missions or other Ministries of Government of India or state governments, the ministry said. It said that National Institute for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development (NIESBUD), Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE) and their training providers will also be permitted.
The new guidelines also include the following features:-
No restriction on Inter-State and intra-State movement
There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission/ approval/ e-permit will be required for such movements.
National Directives for COVID-19 management
National Directives for COVID-19 management shall continue to be followed throughout the country, with a view to ensure social distancing. Shops will need to maintain adequate physical distancing among customers. MHA will monitor the effective implementation of National Directives.
Protection for vulnerable persons
Vulnerable persons, i.e., persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years, are advised to stay at home, except for meeting essential requirements and for health purposes.
In cities, metro trains will be allowed to resume services from September 7 in a phased manner by the Housing and Urban Affairs (MOHUA) Ministry and the Railways Ministry (MOR), in consultation with the MHA. In this regard, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by the MOHUA.