After witnessing a decline in COVID-19 cases and deaths, Delhi has further relaxed lockdown restrictions starting from July 26. An order issued by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) will now allow the Delhi Metro and public buses to operate at 100% seating capacity, while cinema halls, theatres and multiplexes will open with 50% occupancy.
However, it is to be noted that no standing passengers will be allowed in the metro coaches. The latest unlock guidelines, released on July 24, also allow business-to-business (B2B) exhibitions but only with business visitors.
The order states that number of people allowed at marriage functions and last rites will be raised to 100 from Monday. Along with theatres, spas can also open from July 26 but all their employees have to be fully vaccinated or undergo RT-PCR test fortnightly, the DDMA order read.
Additionally, the number of guests allowed at marriages and funerals have been increased to 100, from 50. All auditoriums, assembly halls have been permitted to reopen from Monday at 50% seating capacity.
What is now left under the category of prohibited activities are schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutes. All social, political, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious and festival-related gatherings will continue to remain banned.
However, the DDMA has made an exception for farmers protesting against the three agricultural laws at Jantar Mantar till the end of the Monsoon session of the Parliament.
The latest guidelines will be applicable from 5 am on July 26 to 5 am on August 9.
The city witnessed an unprecedented surge of cases and deaths during the second wave of coronavirus in April and May. The situation seems to have been improving over the past few weeks, allowing the government to reopen the city in a phased manner.
In the last 24 hours, Delhi has reported zero deaths, 66 new cases and 52 recoveries. It is the second time, this month that the national capital is reporting zero deaths. Previously on July 18, as well zero deaths were registered in Delhi
. That was the first time it was happening in 138 days. Prior to July, Delhi had reported zero deaths on February 9, before the devastating effects of the second wave kicked in.