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Hotels, Religious Shrines, Restaurants among First Allowed to Reopen under Eased Lockdown Rules

Representative image. (Reuters)

Representative image. (Reuters)

The ministry said all activities prohibited earlier will be opened up in areas outside containment zones in a phased manner, with a caveat that they should follow standard operating procedures prescribed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Under the new guidelines by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued on Saturday, the national lockdown first imposed on March 25 will be eased in phases and hotels, places of worship, restaurants, malls and other hospitality services will be the first to reopen outside of containment zones.

The ministry said all activities prohibited earlier will be opened up in areas outside containment zones in a phased manner, with a caveat that they should follow standard operating procedures prescribed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. However, the health ministry’s guidelines were not made public along with the MHA guidelines.

“In Phase I, religious places and places of worship for public; hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services; and shopping malls; will be permitted to open from June 8, 2020. Health ministry will issue SOPs for the above activities, in consultation with the central ministries and departments concerned and other stakeholders, for ensuring social distancing and to contain the spread of Covid-19,” the MHA guidelines read. It titled the guidelines on phased re-opening of all activities outside containment zones as ‘unlock 1’.

Prior to the imposition of the national lockdown on March 25, hotels, religious sites, malls and restaurants were some of the activities that prohibited by state governments to prevent large gathering of people. State governments and central government have deliberated on phased reopening of these activities to spur the economy and push consumption and spending.