New Delhi: Unlock 3–meant to ease further restrictions on businesses and other daily aspects of life, will begin from August 1, Sunday.  Under the new guidelines issued by the Centre for the third phase of Unlock, restrictions on the movement of individuals during night have been removed.Also Read - UK to Lift Additional COVID Restrictions From Next Week, Says Boris Johnson

Besides, yoga institutes and gymnasiums will be allowed to open from August 5, 2020. For the first time since the coronavirus lockdown came into force on March 25, the government has allowed opening of yoga institutes and gymnasiums from August 5 for which separate Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by the Health Ministry. Also Read - Lata Mangeshkar in Intensive Care; Doctor Says 'Pray For Her Recovery'

However, lockdown in containment zones will remain in place till August 31. Besides, schools, colleges, metro rail service, cinema halls along with bars will continue to remain shut till the end of this month. Also Read - What is Himalayan Red Buransh Flower And How Can it be Useful Against COVID?

Notably, the countrywide shutdown were first announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24 for 21 days in a bid to break the chain of the coronavirus. The lockdown was first extended till May 3 and then again till May 17. It was further extended till May 31. From June 1, the Centre announced India’s exit strategy from the shutdown, allowing business activities, in a bid to boost the country’s economic growth.

In the first phase, the government allowed the opening of shops selling essential commodities and in phases allowed markets and shops of non-essential items to function in non-containment zones. In the second phase of the unlock, the government had expanded the domestic and international (under the Vande Bharat mission) flights and passenger trains in a calibrated manner.

COVID-19 Creates Havoc

The further easing of restrictions come as the number of coronavirus or COVID-19 cases across India inched closer to 16,000— 15,83,792 to be specific  and the death toll mounted to 34,968. In the last 24 hours, a total of 52,123 people tested positive for the highly contagious virus, while 775 succumbed to the infection. It has been said that India has replaced Italy to occupy the fifth spot of the world’s worst-hit countries in terms of the number of coronavirus deaths.

States Extend Lockdown Till Aug 31, Issue Guidelines

Several states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Nagaland, Mizoram and Jharkhand extended lockdown till August 31 to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

International Flights to Remain Suspended Till August 31

The Central government extended the suspension on scheduled commercial international flight operations to and from India till August 31. “The government has decided to extend the suspension on the Scheduled International Commercial Passenger Services to or from India up to 23:59 hours IST of 31st August. Specific Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) has been issued accordingly,” an official statement said.

Passenger air services were suspended on March 25 due to the nationwide lockdown to check the spread of Covid-19. Domestic flight services, however, resumed from May 25.