India on Saturday extended until June 30 the country’s fifth phase of nationwide lockdown which will begin on June 1 in so-called containment zones where cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed. 

Issuing guidelines for gradually resuming restricted activities in other areas, the Interior Ministry said that all places of worship, shopping malls, hotels and the hospitality sector could reopen starting June 8.

However, individual movement from 9.00 p.m. to 5.00 a.m. would be prohibited across the country, except for essential services, it said

Schools, colleges and other educational institutions will reopen in the second phase of restrictions easing pending consultations with local state authorities.

In the third phase, the government will decide depending on the circumstances on whether to allow the opening cinemas, gyms, international flights, swimming pools, entertainment parks, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar venues, the guidelines added.

“There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission/approval/e-permit will be required for such movements,” said a statement released by the ministry.

The government announced the so-called lockdown 5.0 measures as India witnessed its biggest single-day jump of 265 deaths due to COVID-19 on Saturday, as well as 7,964 cases of the virus in the last 24 hours. The death toll from the pandemic rose to 4,971 and the total number of cases reached 173,763.

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