New Delhi: All religious places across the country can reopen from June 8, the Centre said on Saturday as it extended the ongoing nationwide COVID-19 lockdown for a fourth time, with lockdown 5.0 beginning from June 1 and ending on June 30. Also Read - Lockdown 5.0 in Punjab: Sukhbir Badal Urges CM Amarinder Singh to Allow Places of Worship to Open

Lockdown 5.0, will, however, essentially be the country’s exit from the nationwide lockdown, as it will lead to reopening of all activities outside the containment zones in phases; the country will exit from the lockdown in a total of three phases-it is in the first phase itself that places of worship have been allowed to reopen. Also Read - Lockdown 5.0 in West Bengal: First State to Announce Opening of All Religious Places, No Crowding, Says Mamata

The guidelines in this regard will be released later by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW).

This development of reopening of religious places, notably, comes as no surprise as, in recent days, a number of states had given indications in this regard. While earlier this week, Karnataka said that it will allow opening of all religious places from June 1, albeit after approval from the Centre, on Friday, West Bengal became the first state to formally announce reopening of places of worship in the state, albeit with SOPs in place.

Earlier today, former Punjab deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, too, had requested CM Captain Amarinder Singh to ‘immediately open all religious places in the state as this is what people of all religions want.”