States asked to consult with Centre before imposing local lockdowns

NEW DELHI, Aug 29: The union home ministry on Saturday issued the Unlock 4 guidelines under which political, social and religious congregations of upto 100 people will be permitted from 21 September.

However, schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will remain closed for students till 30 September, with some relaxations for students of Classes 9 to 12.

In a significant directive, the home ministry said that state governments shall not impose any local lockdown outside the containment zones without prior consultation with the central government.

The ministry said that state and union territory governments may permit up to 50 percent of teaching and non-teaching staff to be called to the schools at a time for online teaching or tele-counselling and related work.

Students of Classes 9 to 12 may be permitted to visit their schools in areas outside the containment zones only on a voluntary basis for taking guidance from their teachers.

This will be subject to the written consent of their parents or guardians, according to the guidelines.

Social, academic, sports, entertainment, cultural, religious, political functions and other congregations will be permitted with a ceiling of 100 persons, with effect from 21 September.

“However, such limited gatherings can be held with the mandatory wearing of facemasks, social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and handwash or sanitizer,” the guidelines said. (PTI)