A day after the Union Home Ministry issued a new set of guidelines for ‘Unlock 4.0’, allowing significant relaxations, several states started coming up with their own set of rules for September. While Haryana withdrew its order to keep markets in urban areas closed on Monday and Tuesday, Tamil Nadu announced scrapping of e-pass system within districts and allowed government and private offices to function with 100 per cent staff.

The Centre gave nod for the eventual resumption of metro services from September 7, and the return of up to 50 per cent of teaching and non-teaching staff to schools outside containment zones from September 21. In the fourth stage of the government’s phase-wise post-coronavirus lockdown reopening, states will no longer be permitted to impose lockdowns outside containment zones without the Centre’s permission.

Given that most states and union territories were not in favour of reopening schools and colleges, the MHA announced that they will remain closed till September 30. However, from September 21, a limited number of teaching and non-teaching staff may be called back to schools outside containment zones, and senior students of classes 9 to 12 will be permitted to visit their classrooms to clear their doubts.

Interestingly, while cinema halls, swimming pools and other recreational spaces will remain closed, the government has permitted the reopening of open air theatres.

Here is a full list of permitted and prohibited activities during ‘Unlock 4.0’

Unlock 4.0 guidelines: What’s allowed?

  • Metro services will resume from September 7, 2020 in a graded manner.
  • Social/ academic/ sports/ entertainment/ cultural/ religious/ political functions and other congregations will be permitted with a ceiling of 100 people. However, strict measures — including mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing and thermal scanning provisions — will have to be observed.
  • Open air theatres will be allowed to reopen from September 21, 2020
  • States/Union Territories may permit upto 50% of teaching and non-teaching staff to return to schools from September 21 for online teaching-related work in areas outside containment zones.
  • Students from classes 9 to 12 from schools outside containment zones will be permitted to visit their faculty to clear doubts on a voluntary basis from September 21.
  • No restrictions will be imposed on inter-state and intra-state movement of people and goods. No separate permission or e-permits will be needed for such movement.
  • Unlock 4.0 guidelines: What’s not allowed

    • Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will remain closed for students till September 30. Online/distance learning will continue.
    • States and union territories will not be permitted to enforce lockdowns outside containment zones without the Centre’s permission.
    • Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres and other such places will remain closed.
    • International air travel, other than what is permitted by MHA, remains suspended.
    • Elderly people over the age of 65 and young children below 10 years of age, have been advised to stay at home. They should venture out only for essential and health purposes, the MHA has said.

    Unlock 4: Haryana guidelines

    The Haryana government on Sunday withdrew its order to keep markets in urban areas closed on Monday and Tuesday. Haryana’s home-cum-health minister Anil Vij announced on Sunday that the state government is withdrawing its lockdown order in view of the Unlock 4.0 guidelines that forbid any form of lockdown, barring in containment zones, without permission from the Centre.

    Unlock 4: Tamil Nadu guidelines

    The Tamil Nadu government has announced several relaxations starting September, including no ‘complete lockdown’ across the state, scrapping of e-pass system within districts and opening of all places of worship. However, an e-pass is compulsory for those coming in from other states via train, flight or road.

    • All places of worship to be allowed to open until 8 PM
    • District buses (both Pvt and govt) and buses in Chennai to resume from September 1
    • Shopping malls, large stores, factories and IT parks, private sector and government offices can function with 100% staff.
    • Tea stalls and restaurants can function from 6 am-8 pm. They can remain open until 9 PM for takeaways
    • Clubs, hotels that offer accommodation, resorts, etc can function with adequate SOPs
    • All parks and playgrounds will be open to physical and sports training. Spectators won’t be allowed in playgrounds
    • Entry for tourists to Hill stations such as Yercaud and Nilgiris, Kodaikanal based on e-pass from District Collector
    • Cinema shooting with 75 persons on set
    • Limited inter-state trains until Sept 15; Chennai airport would be allowed to receive 50 flights a day