Govt permits more activities in October; issues new guidelines

The Union Home Ministry on Wednesday issued new guidelines for permitting more activities in areas outside the containment zones that include opening up cinemas, theatres and multiplexes with up to 50 per cent of their seating capacity from October 15.

The ministry said that international travel, except those permitted by the Centre, continues to remain shut, while state and UT governments have been given the flexibility to take a decision on re-opening of schools and coaching institutions after October 15 in a graded manner.

In a statement, it said the activities permitted from October 15 in areas outside the containment zones include –cinemas, theatres and multiplexes that can open with up to 50 per cent of their seating capacity, for which the SOP will be issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Business to Business (B2B) Exhibitions will be permitted and SOP will be issued by the Department of Commerce.

Swimming pools being used for training of sportspersons will be allowed to open for which the standard operating procedure (SOP) will be issued by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

Entertainment parks and similar places will be permitted to open. The SOP will be issued by the  Ministry of Health & Family Welfare in this regard.

All these activities had been shut after a lockdown was imposed from March 25 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The new guidelines are based on feedback received from states and UTs, and extensive consultations held with related central ministries and departments, the statement said.