Amit Shah speaks to CMs on COVID-19 lockdown

Home Minister Amit Shah speaks to all CMs, seeks their views on extension of coronavirus lockdown

Home Minister Amit Shah (PTI photo)

As the COVID-19 lockdown 4.0 ending this Sunday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday spoke to all chief ministers on the way forward and elicited their views on restrictions to be continued and further relaxations they would need.

Officials said Shah heard the views of all the chief ministers, as the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is working on the next set of guidelines to be issued once lockdown 4.0 ends.

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Sources said the lockdown in a much more relaxed manner could be in place, though the Centre is insisting on stricter implementation in containment zones when the restrictions are likely to be extended for another fortnight.

The Centre has given considerable relaxations during lockdown 4.0 that started on May 18. States are likely to enjoy more such relaxations post May 31 when it comes to the implementation of lockdown measures.

Sources said the MHA officials are working on the contours of the guidelines. They are looking at options like reopening shopping malls and gyms, though a final decision has not been arrived at as of now.

Concerns are still there on allowing shopping malls, which have remained close since March 25, to open as it could attract large number of people.

Some states are also pitching for opening up educational institutions from June 1 but the MHA appeared reluctant to do so. The bar on opening of cinema halls and other entertainment avenues may continue even post May 31.

There are also suggestions from states like Delhi for staggered opening of Metro services. Sources said the new guidelines could further prune the negative list, announced for lockdown 4.0.

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