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The Ministry of Home Affairs announced the Unlock 4 guidelines on August 29. As per the fresh guidelines, coronavirus lockdown will be extended in India till September 30. However, this lockdown will only be imposed in containment zones, the MHA clarified.
No state will be allowed to impose a complete lockdown arbitrarily. This means, to impose lockdown in areas outside of containment zones, the competent government authorities (state/ district/ sub-division/city/ village level) will have to consult the central government in advance.
The MHA statement read: "State/ UT governments shall not impose any local lockdown (state/district/sub-division/city/village level), outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the central government."
In a major development, metro rail services, which have remained suspended in the country since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic, have been allowed to operate with effect from September 7 in a graded manner.
Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.
Schools, colleges, coaching centres, etc., will remain closed till September 30, although states and Union territories have been given the free hand to decide if they want 50 percent of the teaching staff to come to schools to conduct online classes from September 21.
Students of Class 9 to Class 12 will be allowed to visit schools voluntarily, with the consent of their parents.
The Centre has also decided to allow open-air theatres to open from September 21, even as cinema halls, swimming pools, and theatres will continue to remain closed.
Social/academic/sports/entertainment/cultural/religious/political functions and other congregations will be permitted with a ceiling of 100 persons.