Unlock 9: Odisha Govt Allows Re-Opening Of Educational Institutions

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Government on Saturday issued its Unlock-9 guidelines for the month of February, allowing the re-opening of schools and colleges and functioning of Anganwadi centres.

As per the new guidelines issued by the Office of the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC), below are the activities allowed in areas outside the Containment Zones while following the relevant guidelines.

i. Large gatherings, congregations shall continue to be prohibited. Social/ religious/ political/ sports/ entertainment/ academic/ cultural functions and gatherings shall be allowed with a ceiling of 500 persons subject to the following conditions:

a. In closed spaces, a maximum of 50% of the hall capacity will be allowed subject to the above ceiling.
b. In open spaces, keeping the size of the ground/ open space in view, appropriate number of persons will be allowed, within the ceiling prescribed above, so as to ensure maintenance of prescribed physical distancing norms.
c. Wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing and provision of thermal scanning & use of hand wash or sanitizer will be mandatory.
d. Permission for such functions/ gatherings shall be accorded by the respective District Magistrates/ Municipal Commissioners or other officers authorised by them.

ii. Marriage, funeral/ last rites related gatherings shall be allowed with a ceiling of 500 persons, subject to the following conditions:

a. In closed spaces, a maximum of 50% of the hall capacity will be allowed subject to the above ceilings.
b. In open spaces, keeping the size of the ground/ open space in view, appropriate number of persons will be allowed, subject to the above ceilings, so as to ensure maintenance of prescribed physical distancing norm.
c. Wearing of masks, maintaining social distancing and provision of thermal scanning & use of hand wash or sanitizer will be mandatory.

The Guidelines issued by the State Government earlier for marriage and funeral related functions during COVID-19 pandemic shall be strictly followed with the above modifications on the ceiling of persons.

iii. Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumers (B2C) exhibitions shall be allowed in exhibition halls with participants/ visitors up to 50% of the hall capacity complying with the COVID-l9 safety protocols. In open spaces, keeping the size of the ground/ open space in view, appropriate number of persons will be allowed at any point of time so as to ensure maintenance of prescribed physical distancing norm. Permission for such exhibitions shall be accorded by the respective District Magistrates/ Municipal Commissioners or other officers authorised by them.

iv. All Medical Colleges of the State have been allowed to reopen with effect from 1st December, 2020. Medical College Authorities shall follow all the SOPs /guidelines with respect to social distancing and prevention of spread of epidemic issued by Central/ State Government, scrupulously.

v. The Department of School & Mass Education/ ST & SC Development, Minorities and Backward Classes Welfare Department/ Social Security & Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities is authorised to take appropriate decision with regard to the date of re-opening of schools and hostels under its control/ superintendence/ supervision in respect of classes from 9th to 12th Standard in a graded manner observing necessary guidelines/ SOP developed for the purpose. The Department shall further develop detailed SoP for the primary schools and decide on opening of such schools with approval of the Government.

vi. The Department of Higher Education is authorized to take appropriate decision with regard to the date of re-opening of Colleges/ Higher Education Institutions and Hostels under its control/ superintendence/ supervision by following the guidelines/ SOP issued by the Department/ UGC/ AICTE/ Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

vii. The Department of Skill Development and Technical Education is authorised to take appropriate decision with regard to the date of reopening of Engineering Colleges and other Technical Education/ Skill Development Institutions and Hostels under its control/ superintendence/ supervision in a graded manner in compliance with the Guidelines/ SOP issued by the Department/ UGC/ AICTE/ Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.

Notwithstanding closure of Academic/ Technical/ Skill Development Institutions, the followings will be permitted:

a. Conduct of examinations (including academic, competitive and entrance tests), evaluation and other administrative activities.
b. Online/ distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged.
c. The concerned department may permit teaching and non-teaching staff to be called to the School/ College/ Institution for online teaching/ telecounselling and related work, in areas outside the Containment Zones only as per Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the Ministry of Education/ Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW), GoI.
d. All training activities including skill and professional development.

viii. Anganwadi Centres shall function with effect from 1st February 2021.

ix. Local Authority i.e., District Magistrate/ Municipal Commissioner are authorised to permit public worship in religious places/ places of worship with appropriate restrictions, based on local assessment of the situation with regard to spread of COVID-19 and in due consultation with relevant stakeholders, with observance of COVID-19 safety protocol.

x. Cinema Halls, Theatres shall be allowed to open and operate as per SOP issued/ to be issued by the Government of India/ State Government in that regard.

xi. Open Air Theatres/ Jatras/ Operas/ Entertainment Parks shall be permitted by the local authorities (District Magistrate/ Municipal Commissioner or officers authorized by them) subject to compliance of safety protocols such as the mandatory wearing of face masks, physical distancing, etc.

xii. Opening and use of Swimming Pools shall be as per the SOP issued/ to be issued by Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, GoI.

xiii. International air travel of passengers shall be as decided by the Ministry of Civil Aviation/ Ministry of Home Affairs, GoI.

Subject to other provisions of this order, activities that are not specifically prohibited/ regulated/ restricted above are allowed subject to adherence to safety and health protocols and SOPs/ guidelines issued by appropriate authorities.