The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on September 30 extended the lockdown relaxations more areas of business under Unlock 5.0 guidelines.
India has been relaxing coronavirus-related lockdown restrictions in a staggered manner since June under the Centre's 'Unlock' plan. Eariler, the government had allowed reopening of metro train services as part of the 'Unlock 4.0' guidelines issued by the MHA on August 29.
We at Moneycontrol try to answer all your Unlock 5.0 related queries to keep away the coronavirus blues.
What changed in the new guidelines?In open spaces, social activities will be allowed keeping the size of the ground/space in view, and with strict observance of social distancing, mandatory wearing of face masks, provision for thermal scanning and hand wash or sanitizer.
Along with this, Business to Business (B2B) exhibitions will be permitted to open, for which, the SOPs will be issued by the Department of Commerce.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
In closed spaces, a maximum of 50 percent of the hall capacity will be allowed, with a ceiling of 200 persons. However, wearing of face masks, maintaining social distancing, provision for thermal scanning, and use of hand wash or sanitizer will be mandatory.
Will schools and colleges open?For re-opening of schools and coaching institutions, State/UT Governments have been given the flexibility to take a decision after October 15, 2020, in a graded manner.
The decision shall be taken in consultation with the respective school/ institution management, based on their assessment of the situation. However, online learning and distance education shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged.
Where schools are conducting online classes, and some students prefer to attend online classes rather than physically attend school, they may be permitted to do so. However, students may attend schools/institutions only with the written consent of parents.
Higher education institutions only for research scholars (Ph.D) and post-graduate students in science and technology stream requiring laboratory/ experimental works will be permitted to open from October 15, 2020.
For those that are centrally funded, the head of institution will satisfy herself/himself that there is a genuine requirement of research scholars (Ph.D) and post-graduate students in science and technology stream for laboratory/experimental works.
As for other private institutions, they may open only for research scholars (Ph.D) and post-graduate students in the science and technology stream requiring laboratory/experimental works as per decision to be taken by the respective State/UT Governments.
Will cinema halls be allowed to open?
Cinema halls will be allowed to resume with up to 50 percent of their seating capacity, for which, the SOPs will be issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
What about swimming pools and entertainment parks?Swimming pools being used for training of sportspersons will be permitted to open, for which the SOPs will be issued by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MoYA&S).