The Central government of India is expected to announce guidelines for the 4th phase of uplifting lockdown, entitled as ‘Unlock 4.0’ which is expected to come up with more relaxations and exceptions and will be initiated from September 1st. This process of withdrawal of lockdown has begun from June 1st. With the exceptions of opening up of Industrial activities, offices all over the country and recently with few more exceptions like the opening of shopping malls, religious places, gymnasium in phase 2 and 3 of unlock. The restrictions imposed on the interstate and intra-state travel were removed halfway through Unlock 3.0. Nevertheless Schools and Colleges most likely to remain closed due to the unstoppable increase in the cases of Covid-19 all over the country. Metro rail services are about to start from September 1st. According to the sources, the final call of reopening Metro Services will be taken by respective states. The regular international flight won’t resume at any time soon according to the information declared by the center.
Metro rail services about to resume:
In India, 3.1 million people are suffering and 58,000 people are dead due to the ongoing pandemic. In the 4th phase of unlocking the country, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has been designed by the Ministry of home affairs and Health ministry to facilitate the unlock 4.0 so that the tenacious growth of Covid-19 can be lowered down. Metro rail services were suspended on 22nd march in order to stagger the progress of the virus. As per the new guidelines by the central government, Metro rail services are about to start from September 1st. However, the final decision of resuming this rapid transport will be in the hands of the ultimate State government. The recommendation by the Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal to resume the Metro rail services is likely to be accepted by the centre, as the situations are improving in Delhi. On 1st September there are high chances that Delhi metro may run on tracks. Although only 50 passengers will be permitted per coach and there will be no token service, as contactless ticketing will be preferred using either smartphones or cards. Mumbai local services will be reserved only for essential service staff. Regular locals are unlikely to resume in 4th phase of lockdown exit plan.
Schools and college most likely to remain closed:
Schools and colleges were closed on March 22, prior to the announcement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of nation-wide Lockdown, to reduce the spread of coronavirus. As it is very necessary to pause the growth of corona virus, schools and colleges will remain closed in the phase 4. Contemplation is ongoing on whether allowing the reopening of higher educational institutions like IIMs and IITs is preferable or not. According to media sources, the government is about to release a phase-wise plan to resume the schools and educational institutions, between the span of September and November 14. A report in economic times states that the plan is been composed, by the Group of secretaries associated with the Group of Ministers (GoM) to manage the situation of Covid-19 under the captainship of the Health Minister and Member of Parliament from Delhi. A Broad Standard Operating Procedures will be issued by the central government in regards with starting the classroom teaching, however, the final decision for starting the classroom teaching are in the hands of the state government.
Regular International flights to resume?
There is a less likely chance to resume the international flight services, although there will be increase in the number of flights under the Vande Bharat Mission. To increase the number of international flights under this mission, Air Transport Bubble agreements with more countries will be signed as soon as possible. People will have to register themselves with the Indian missions from the country in which they are residing or stranded in order to travel to India as prescribed by the Ministry of External Affairs, under the Vande Bharat Mission. Hence in the 4th phase of unlocking the regular international flights won’t resume.
Unlock 4.0 for other services:
Cinema halls and multiplexes will remain closed in the 4th phase of lockdown exit plan. There are about 10,000 odd screens and 28,000 multiplexes. In the year 2019 the gross amount of 11,500 crore was collected at the box office. 200,000 workers are in this field in which many of them have lost their jobs. The decision to allow the standalone cinema halls is underway. The Ministry of Home Affairs & Health Ministry has come up with SOP which includes the staggering of seating arrangement and contactless ticketing for the same. The occupancy in the cinema halls will be 50%, states the Business Standard Report, because less than that would cause an economic lose for Cinema Hall.
Bars, on the other hand, will be open for only selling Liquor on the takeaway counters. The center has asked to make sure that there should be no restrictions on intra-state and inter-state traveling and movement of goods and persons. As restrictions on transportation are causing trouble in the movement of goods, disruption in economic activities, and employment and are impacting the supply chains. The new guideline clearly states that there will be no restrictions on the inter-state and intra-state movement of persons or transportation of goods. Political, sports, academic, cultural, religious functions, social functions, and any other large congregations are likely to remain prohibited in the upcoming month. On 24th March, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the first lockdown in the country to reduce the impact of the novel corona virus in India. From March 24th the lockdown extended till 31st May. From 1 June the unlock process has begun with slowly granting the exceptions first to the industrial activities and now to many essential services like transportations, shopping malls, etc. Nevertheless, a strict enforcement of lockdown in all the containment zones will be followed to put an end to this life threatening pandemic. Unlock 4.0 is based on Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) reducing the exposure to the pandemic.