New Delhi: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Saturday issued guidelines for ‘Unlock 4’, allowing more activities outside the containment zones. The new guidelines, which will remain force till September 30, are based on feedback received from States, UTs and extensive consultation held with related Central ministries and department. Also Read - PM Modi to Stock of COVID-19 Situation, Chair High-Level Meeting With CMs of 7 Worst-hit States Today

In ‘Unlock 4’, which will come into effect from September 1, the process of phased reopening of activities has been extended further. While the metro rail services will be allowed to operate with effect from September 7 in a graded manner, schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will remain closed for students till September 30, with some relaxations for students of classes 9 to 12. Also Read - IPL 2020, KKR vs MI: Trent Boult Reveals Jasprit Bumrah Working Hard to Find Rhythm

Besides, social, political, religious functions will be permitted with a ceiling of 100 persons with effect from September 21. These limited gatherings can be held with mandatory directives like wearing of face masks, social distancing, provision for thermal scanning and hand washing or use of sanitiser. Open air theatres will also be permitted from September 21. Also Read - Trump Blasts China For Unleashing COVID-19 Onto the World at UN General Assembly Debate

However, lockdown will continue to be implemented strictly in the containment zones till September 30.

“Lockdown will continue to be implemented strictly in the Containment Zones till 30th September, 2020. Containment Zones shall be demarcated by the District authorities at micro level after taking into consideration the guidelines of MoHFW with the objective of effectively breaking the chain of transmission. Strict containment measures will be enforced in these containment zones and only essential activities will be allowed”, the MHA said in the fresh notification.

It added,”Within the containment zones, strict perimeter control will be maintained and only essential activities allowed. These Containment Zones will be notified on the websites of the respective District Collectors and by the States/ UTs and information will also be shared with MOHFW.”

All activities, except the following, shall be permitted outside containment zones —  (i) Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres (excluding open-air theatre) and similar places. (ii) International air travel of passengers, except as permitted by MHA.

The government has also directed the states and UTs to not impose any local lockdown (State/ District/ sub-division/City/ village level) outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the Centre.