Odisha releases Unlock 6.0 Guidelines: A Detailed Look

After several bouts of deliberation with district administration and concerned medical teams, the Odisha government has released guidelines for Unlock 6.0 that lifts restrictions on varied activities within the state. However, the lockdown measures will prevail in designated containment zones whilst schools and colleges shall continue to be closed.

All international flights from Bhubaneswar’s Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) shall remain suspended except as explicitly cleared by the Ministry of Home Affairs in New Delhi. The unlock measures come on the backdrop of the publication of results for the third serological survey in Bhubaneswar, which revealed that almost 50% of the population had developed antibodies against COVID-19.

  • The new regulations, under Unlock 6.0 are: Containment zones continue to be under lockdown. Only essential activities will be allowed restricting the movement of people within or out of the zones. There will be extensive contract tracing, house-to-house surveillance and other clinical interventions as required
  • No authority can impose any lockdown at district, sub-division, city or below level outside containment zones
  • International air travel of passengers except as permitted by the MHA will continue to remain closed till Nov 30
  • Large social, political, sports, entertainment, academic, cultural, religious functions and other congregations will remain prohibited till Nov 30. However, the guidelines issued dated Oct 1 for political meetings and other functions in connection with bye-elections to two Assembly seats scheduled to be held on Nov 3 will be operational till the end of the campaigning period as permitted by the Election Commission of India/CEO, Odisha
  • Marriage related gatherings will be allowed with a maximum ceiling of 200 persons and funeral related gatherings with a maximum ceiling of 50 persons. Wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing and provision of thermal screening, use of hand wash and sanitiser will be mandatory
  • All the academic institutions will remain closed till Nov 30. However, Class 9-12 in schools under control and supervision of the School & Mass Education Department will open from Nov 16 as per guidelines/SOP to be issued by the concerned department
  • Amidst closure of educational institutions, only conduct of examinations will be permitted, online/distance learning classes will be encouraged, teaching and non-teaching staff may be called to schools for online teaching/tele-counselling related work outside containment zones as per the SOP issued by the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health & Family Welfare
  • Higher education institutions will be permitted to open only for research scholars and post-graduate students in the science and technology stream. All training activities including skill and professional development will be allowed
  • The local authority may permit public worship in religious places with appropriate restrictions, based on local assessment of the situation with regard to the spread of COVID-19 and in due consultation with relevant stakeholders
  • Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment complexes, theatres, auditoriums, assembly halls, and similar places will continue to remain closed. However, an appropriate decision may be taken further based on the assessment on Nov 16 with regard to the opening of these establishments
  • Open Air Theatres will be permitted to open with adherence to COVID-19 rules. The swimming pools owned and controlled by the Government/recognised by the Department of Sports and Youth Services are allowed for the training of sports as per SOP issued by the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports
  • All Government and private offices are allowed with strict adherence to COVID-19 norms issued by the appropriate authorities. Non-adherence to the guidelines will invite action under appropriate provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005
  • There shall be no restrictions on the inter-state and intra-state movement of persons, private vehicles and goods. No separate permission will be required for such movements
  • Inter-state and intra-state movement of passenger buses is allowed
  • Movement of passenger trains, domestic passenger air travel, movement of persons on Vande Bharat and Air Transport Bubble flights and sign-on and sign-off of Indian seafarers will continue to be regulated as per SOPs
  • Persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years are advised against outdoor movement except for essential and health purposes.

Any person found in non-compliance with the above directives will be eligible for a penalty as prescribed in accordance with the provisions of Section 51 to 60 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1987 and Regulations issued thereunder, besides other legal provisions in place.

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