By Krishnan Nayar New Delhi, July 29, 2020 — Indians will be completely free of nightly curfews next week as part of a gradual opening of the country, more than four months after nationwide restrictions on people’s freedom of movement were imposed nationwide. With the current Phase 2 unlocking of India ending at midnight on July 31, the Home Office has issued a new set of guidelines tonight allowing a package of activities outside containment zones. It extended the lockout, including the nightly curfew, until the end of August in areas badly hit by the Coronavirus pandemic. During the “Unlock-3”, international air traffic will continue to be restricted to return flights that return Indian citizens from abroad and to restricted air services approved by the Ministry of the Interior.
“Schools, colleges and coaching institutions will remain closed until 31 August,” the ministry’s new guidelines state, stressing that “online and distance learning should be promoted”. Large gatherings for sporting, religious or political purposes will continue to be banned. Cinema halls, swimming pools, amusement parks, theatres and assembly halls will not reopen in Unlock-3, which runs from 1 August to the end of the month. Subway traffic also remains suspended. However, yoga institutes and grammar schools will be allowed to open from August 5, according to clear guidelines designed to limit the spread of the virus. Persons over 65 years of age, pregnant women, children under 10 years of age and persons with concomitant diseases were advised to stay at home except in emergencies. The nationwide curfew was originally from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. when it was first imposed in March, but was gradually eased at each stage of reopening.