Unlock 4: From schools to social gathering limits, here’s all that has changed

The government has issued some new guidelines as a part of Unlock phase 4 and with these, some major developments are on the card…

Unlock 4: From schools to social gathering limits, here’s all that has changed
School (Credit- Twitter)

As we all know, the Corona Virus brought normal life to an indefinite standstill. And while the Government took months to combat with the pandemic, the cases still continue to rise at an alarming rate. However, in an attempt to safeguard the economy from collapsing, the Government had introduced a plan for Unlock spread out in several phases. So far, three phases have been successfully achieved, now with some more guild lines and leeways coming in with Unlock phase 4, some major developments are in store. 

But before we take you through the standard operating procedures that Government has announced in the latest unlock phase, let us tell you that section 144 continues to remain activated in Mumbai and according to that restrictions on movement and forming gatherings stands prohibited. This regulation has been extended till September 30. Even in Raipur lockdown is imposed once again from 9pm tonight till September 28. And all of this was imposed in light of the rise in Covid-cases. Now an important guideline in Unlock 4 was that schools in several states will be functioning for classes 9-12 from today. 

Other allowances included that apart from schools, some higher educational institutions will also begin with its classes and the cap of 50 people has been raised to 100 for several sports, religious, cultural, political, social and academic gatherings. And if anyone is found violating the aforementioned guidelines, legal action will be taken against them. Schools in many parts of India started today where students returned voluntarily. While as per the rules, only students from outside containment zones are allowed to attend school if they wish to and with permission from their parents. Even schools are supposed to operate with only 50 percent staff including both teaching and non-teaching. Attendance has not been made compulsory for students. 

Other SOP’s to be followed by students includes, that social distancing has to be maintained, sharing of books, pens, water, etc. is not allowed, while wearing a mask is mandatory. Students need to have a written permission from their parents in order to attend schools. While administrations have been asked to sanitize premises before the staff and students arrive, they will also have to decide a different time slot and a contactless attendance method. Other than this the cleaning staff will have to be trained as per Covid guidelines, and thermal screening at the gates has to be introduced. 

Despite these guidelines certain states, including, Delhi, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand have decided to keep schools shut. While states like Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, etc. have welcomed this decision and started schools from today.  On the other hand, students also took to Twitter demanding for schools-colleges to be kept shut, pointing at how this could lead to a rapid spread of the pandemic.  

Except for an increase in the number of people, no new guidelines have been imposed for public-gatherings. Open-air theaters have also been allowed to start operations but proper hygiene, sanitization and social distancing rules. 

Though majority of the schools have continued to remain functional through digital means, we will have to wait and watch, if they resume educational practices in the traditional way anytime soon.  Stay tuned!

Written by Nawaz Kochra