India announced a phased lifting of the nationwide lockdown by allowing malls, restaurants and places of worship to open from June 8, as the country attempts to revive an economy ravaged by the world’s toughest stay-at-home restrictions.
The country, which had enforced sweeping and strict orders March 25, will limit the stringent rules to areas that have a large number of active cases, until at least June 30. Authorities will decide on opening schools and colleges in July, while resumption of international air travel is planned only in the final phase.
The exit plan comes even as India, which has the most number of infections in Asia, has been unable to flatten its curve despite the restrictions, leaving its already troubled economy in deep disrepair.
In the most recent phase of its lockdown, which ends on May 31, the South Asian nation allowed the resumption of some domestic flights and interstate rail services.
India has been easing out of its strict lockdown since April 20 with its economy likely headed for its first full-year contraction in more than four decades. Gross domestic product expanded 3.1% in the three months through March from a year ago, the Statistics Ministry said in a statement in New Delhi.