The Ministry of Home Affairs on Tuesday (October 27) extended the lockdown in the containment zones across the country till November 30, 2020, amid the COVID-19 crisis. At the same time, the guidelines for reopening of activities in areas outside containment zones shall continue to be applicable in the Unlock 6 phase.

However, the Ministry of Home Affairs has stressed that states and Union Territories cannot impose any local lockdowns outside containment zones without prior consultation with the Centre. Meanwhile, the Chief Secretaries of all states have been advised to promote COVID-19 appropriate behaviour at the grassroots level and ensure the enforcement of wearing masks, hand hygiene and social distancing.

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The Unlock 5 guidelines were announced on September 30 and came into effect the next day. Most notably, it had allowed cinema halls outside the containment zones to be open with restrictions on occupancy.

It is to be noted that the Union Home Ministry had given permission to start all public transport except local trains. The metro service in Kolkata has resumed. People in West Bengal were eagerly waiting for the day when the local train service will be resumed. However, with the extension of Unlock 5 guideline, the hope of resuming local train have shattered.