Delhi: Schools to reopen, lone car drivers need not wear mask

Delhi: Schools to reopen, lone car drivers need not wear mask

Schools in Delhi will reopen for all classes from nursery onwards as will gyms with certain restrictions and drivers travelling alone in cars will be exempted from wearing masks, the city government announced on Friday while relaxing Covid restrictions in view of the dip in cases.

Night curfew will continue but from 11 pm instead of 10 pm, it said.

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) decided to reopen higher education institutions and coaching centres along with schools for classes 9-12 from February 7, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said.

At an online briefing, he said the panel has also decided to resume classes from nursery to 8 from February 14.

Sisodia said teachers, who are not vaccinated, will not be allowed to come to schools.

The DDMA also allowed restaurants to remain open till 11 pm.

“A number of key decisions were taken during the DDMA meeting on Friday.  The decisions were taken keeping in mind the decline in coronavirus cases in Delhi. These decisions will help in ensuring that people’s lives and businesses can come back on track,” Sisodia said.

In another important decision, the panel exempted drivers who are alone in vehicles from wearing masks and also gave its nod to resumption of offices with 100 percent attendance, Sisodia said.  “Schools will reopen for classes 9-12 from February 7 and for nursery to 8 from February 14. The classes will continue to be in a hybrid mode,” Sisodia said.

The deputy chief minister, who also holds the education portfolio, said institutions of higher education and coaching institutes will also be permitted to open from Monday.

“However, colleges will be discouraged to hold online classes and should start offline teaching,” he said.

During the DDMA meeting, chaired by Lt Governor Anil Baijal, it was decided that gyms, spas and swimming pools will be permitted to open, he said, adding that the panel also gave its nod to organising B2B exhibitions.

During the meeting, emphasis was given on enhancing vaccination to those falling in the 15-18 years age group, officials added.  The DDMA in its last meeting scrapped weekend curfew and allowed bars and restaurants to function at 50 per cent of their seating capacity.

The number of daily cases in Delhi has been on the decline after the record high of 28,867 on January 13. The city had recorded a positivity rate of 30.6 per cent on January 14, the highest during the ongoing wave of the pandemic. It took just 10 days for daily cases to drop below the 10,000 mark.

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