New Delhi: Even as some states were looking at reopening schools by mid-June, the Centre on Saturday said that educational institutes across the country will stay closed till at least July, after which they will be opened upon consultations with respective states and union territories (UTs). Also Read - Schools May Reopen After July 15 Following Completion of Pending Exams? Here's What HRD Minister Says

Notably, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) today announced ‘lockdown 5.0’ till June 30, but only in containment zones. Outside of these zones, the country will make a graded exit, in three phases, from the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown, which has been in effect continuously since March 25 and the ongoing fourth phase of which will end tomorrow. Also Read - Prepare Micro-plan For Opening Delhi Schools: Manish Sisodia

It is in ‘phase-2’ that a decision on reopening educational institutes, including schools, will be taken. Also Read - When Will Schools, Colleges Reopen in India? Read Government's Plan Here

Issuing the guidelines today, the MHA said, “In Phase II, schools, colleges, educational/training/coaching institutions etc., will be opened after consultations with states and UTs. State governments/UT administrations are being advised to hold consultations at the institution level with parents and other stakeholders. Based on the feedback, a decision on the re-opening of these institutions will be taken in the month of July, 2020. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) will prepare SOPs for these institutions.”

The educational institutes have, notably, been shut since March 25 when the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown came in effect.

Yesterday, in an interview, Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had remarked that ‘schools may open after over a month once the pending board exams are conducted.’