In the initial phases of the lockdown, that was instituted since March 2020, Maharashtra was one of the worst affected states in the country. It was one of the first states that witnessed a rapid growth in coronavirus cases and were forced to extend strict lockdown even when most of the country was easing up their restrictions. They were the first state to announce the cancellation of examination for school and colleges for the year since it could not afford to conduct examinations with the risk of spreading the infection, further.
India has been inching towards new normalcy for a few months now. Under the Unlock guidelines, the country has been trying to bring back a sense of normalcy with several activities witnessing the resumption of their normal procedures. Since June 2020, many states in the country has allowed offices, malls, shopping centres, and the likes to resume, albeit in a slow-paced, phased manner. It has not been able to resume the normalcy of the bygone days when the pandemic was not such a global health emergency. It has been phased, but the use of masks, maintenance of social distancing, and personal hygiene have become an essential part of everyday lives among people all across the world and in India.
In a similar stance, the Maharashtra government has decided to extend its restrictions and not implement all the amenities provided under Unlock 5.0 guidelines. One of them includes restriction of the re-opening of schools until 31 October 2020. The Government of Maharashtra has launched a scheme called Mission Begin Again to implement phase-wised opening, and under the disaster management act, the executive of the state has released a document with guidelines that extends the lockdown in the state until midnight of 31 October. This comes as a relief from the pandemic is a far fetched idea and hence, schools, colleges, educational institutes are still closed and to continue online and distance learning.
Other restrictive measures under these guidelines include, face coverings at all times at places of work, work from home is preferred, social distancing to be maintained and gatherings to be restricted. Additionally, hotels, restaurants, bars, food courts can have a total capacity of 50 at a time or whatever prescribed by local authorities, and cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres in malls and market places, auditoriums, assembly halls are still closed. A separate Standard Operating Procedure is to established by the tourism department. Railways to increase the frequency of trains in the MMR and Pune to restart local trains operating under the guidelines of the MMR.