Unlock 3 in India: Opening of gyms and cinemas while schools and metros still remain shut!!

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With the stop on Covid-19 restrictions of Unlock 2.0 ending on July 31 (Friday), the Government is now forming some new guidelines for Unlock 3.0 which will be in form starting August (Monday). The economy has been shut for a very long time, therefore, the government feels an urgency to reopen a crippled economy. They are considering the request from gyms and cinemas to reopen under the rules of Unlock 3. While the center has loosened the lockdown implications outside the containment zone, the districts, and municipal corporations in other states are imposing lockdown for few more days due to surge in the coronavirus cases. With new restrictions and guidelines, it complicates the revival of business activities. This in turn will hold back many businesses in operations deploying capital and make it furthermore tougher for the government to restore the economic activities. Meanwhile, India has hit the tally of 1.4 million cases so far.

For Unlock 3, the third installation will help to ease the lockdown restriction, a few more relaxations will be worked up by the government. However, schools and colleges will continue with online classes for now. And services like movie halls, gyms are asking the government to ease the restrictions further, to subject the safeguard. Cinemas which had been shut-down since mid-march. Due to which Bollywood has ended with the worst first six months with a loss of over Rs. 1,000 crore. The association of cinemas is under consideration to be allowed to function with 25-30% of the capacity, fulfilling all the safety measures. 

Meanwhile, The Delhi government has asked the center to reopen the metro facility. But the decision is yet to be taken. The government is making the decision very cautiously especially on metro reopening due to the upcoming festivals. However, the stations in the containment zones will be closed. This decision will be a tough one! Furthermore, the center is gradually reopening international air travel through bilateral deals after the domestic airlines working at the one-third capacity. 

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) also suggested reopening tourism, monuments, tourism attraction, hotels, restaurants, and bars, in the states. However, they must follow the guideline of social distancing and allow up to a seating capacity of 50%. Additionally, permission might be granted to host all kinds of banquets and conferences in the hotel. These facilities should open with proper safety and hygiene measures. Now it is time to backup the economy again!

Since the Mid-march, the lockdown was enforced in a different part of the countries, businesses and livelihoods were under tremendous pressure due to the decrease in demand. The more the lockdown, the more the economy loses. Loss in livelihoods can create greater damage to the economy rather than any other thing. 

And, the recent improvement observed in the cases of coronavirus in Delhi has encouraged Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to now focus on the economy. There is a need to revive our economy…

But it would be appropriate if the states will be given their own authority to decide on the guidelines as per their own Covid-19 situation. Like Neighbouring Haryana has decided not to impose any more lockdowns in the state. On the other hand, Maharashtra has also decided to ease more restrictions in August. 

However, the focus should still remain on saving lives, it is the first priority. The complete lifting of the curbs is not going to work at a crucial time. On the other hand, if such provisions do not pass, around 5 million jobs are at stake if cinemas and gyms are not opened.

An equal balance should be maintained between the fight against Covid-19 and the reopening of the economy.   

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