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No decision yet on reopening of schools, cinemas in Telangana

The Telangana government on Wednesday issued guidelines under ‘Unlock 5’ but no decision has been taken on re-opening of schools and cinema theatres.

According to the Government Order (GO) issued by Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, separate orders will be issued regarding the date of opening of schools and coaching institutions.

In colleges/higher education institutions, online/distance learning shall continue to be the preferred mode of teaching and shall be encouraged, it says.

Higher education institutions only for research scholars (Ph.D.) and postgraduate students of technical and professional programs – requiring laboratory/experimental works are permitted to open from October 15.

Separate orders will be also issued regarding the date of opening for cinema theatres, multiplexes, entertainment parks, and similar places.

The guidelines were issued in line with those issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on September 30 to reopen more prohibited activities in areas outside containment zones and to consolidate the measures related to lockdown in the state.

In areas outside containment zones, all activities permitted prior to the introduction of lockdown measures will be allowed. However, certain activities shall be allowed to function with the stipulation of standard operating procedures (SoPs).

Swimming pools being used for training of sportspersons will be permitted to open from October 15, for which SOPs will be issued by the government.

Business to Business (B2B) exhibitions will be permitted to open from October 15, for which also SOPs will be issued.

Social/academic/sports/entertainment/cultural/religious/political functions and other congregations with a ceiling of 100 people and by following health protocol will be permitted outside containment zones with a mandatory wearing of face masks, social distancing, provision for thermal scanning, and hand wash or sanitizer.

Marriage related gatherings shall be permitted with a maximum of 100 participants. Funeral/last rites related gatherings with a number of persons not exceeding 100 will continue to be allowed.

Persons above the age of 65 years, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 years are advised to stay at home, except for essential and health purposes.

In respect of containment zones, strict lockdown shall be in force till October 31. Only essential activities shall be permitted.

According to the GO, buffer zones shall be identified outside the containment zones, where new cases are more likely to occur. Within the buffer zones, restrictions, as considered necessary, may be put in place by the district authorities.

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