Unlock 3: Metro trains, schools likely to not reopen

Barring a last-minute change of mind, the Narendra Modi government is unlikely to allow the reopening of schools in the next phase of easing of restrictions that is expected next week, according to top officials involved in the discussions related to this.

The officials, who asked not to be named added that metro rail services too may not start soon while gymnasium and swimming pools might also remain out of bounds, as part of the measures to check the further spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

After a 68 day hard lockdown ended on may 31, the government has announced two phases it termed Unlock 1.0 and Unlock 2.0, in June and July respectively. Each phase has allowed more activities across domains -- in an effort to revive economic activity, and return to a semblance of normalcy.

The HRD ministry on Monday began consultation with states and other stakeholders on reopening of schools which have been closed since March due to the pandemic. In the meeting chaired by the Secretary, School Education, Anita Karwal, state education secretaries also deliberated upon health and safety of students, hygiene measures in schools and issues regarding online and digital education.