With Unlock 4.0 guidelines ending today, a new set of rules for October is yet to be announced. Further, Unlock 5.0 is essential because of the long festive season ahead. Therefore, many sectors are expecting a strong rebound in demand during the festive season.
Cinema Halls and Restaurants
Even though malls and gyms opened with partial restrictions last time, cinema halls remained closed. But Amit Khare, Secretary, Information and Broadcasting Ministry, has proposed a plan to open theatres soon. Moviegoers are allowed to sit in alternate seats of every row to ensure safety. In West Bengal, Jatras, dance, recital and magic shows, cinemas and all musical dance activities will reopen with masks being mandatory and with a limit of 50 people in the audience, according to CM Mamata Banerjee.
Restaurants opened with restrictions in many states in Unlock 4.0. Likewise, Maharashtra will open restaurants from the first week of October. Ganesh Shetty, the President of Pune Restaurant and Hoteliers Association, mentions that the standard operating procedure will be followed and all health standards will be strictly adhered to, to ensure safety.
The Tourism Sector
The tourism sector took a significant hit during the government imposed lockdown. But, there’s good news ahead. In Sikkim, all tourism-related activities, including homestays, will commence from October 10th. Further, the border with West Bengal will also open from October 1st. Similarly, Uttarkhand again lifted restrictions for tourists. They scrapped the requirement of the COVID negative report for tourists and the mandatory two days stay in a hotel. The tourism activities in Kerala may also reopen soon. Along the same lines, all tourism activities will also open in Odisha with strict adherence to guidelines, according to the Tourism Minister, J P Panigrahi.
Schools and Universities
Unlock 4.0 included the partial reopening of schools from classes 9th to 12th. But since it wasn’t mandatory, many states like Delhi chose to keep schools closed. The same might continue for the next month as well. Further, primary classes will mostly remain closed for a few more weeks. Universities and colleges across India have their undergraduate admissions process underway. Along with that, online courses have commenced in many colleges. More relaxations for physical classes might be a possibility in Unlock 5.0.
In conclusion, many significant areas like tourism, entertainment and the restaurant industry will benefit from the newly anticipated guidelines. However, India still struggling with COVID-19 outspread must be mindful of easing restrictions to avoid further spread.