Home >News >India >Unlock plan 1.0: Malls, restaurants to open from today. New rules to know
Workers sanitize escalators of a mall as all shopping malls are about to open from 8 of June (ANI)
Workers sanitize escalators of a mall as all shopping malls are about to open from 8 of June (ANI)

Unlock plan 1.0: Malls, restaurants to open from today. New rules to know

  • Only staggered entry of visitors is allowed in the malls and thermal screening is mandatory, according to the guidelines
  • Cinema halls inside shopping malls shall remain closed

Just a few days after the government announced the fresh guidelines and SOPs for opening of malls and restaurants in its first unlock plan in the wake of novel coronavirus outbreak in the country, retailers and restaurateurs are preparing to open business starting tomorrow, 8 June.

Among the specific guidelines, the most important ones are staggered entry of visitors and thermal screening at malls. Apart from that, users will have to use face cover or masks which should be worn at all times inside.

As a common SOP, the government has said that persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women are advised to stay at home, except for essential and health purposes. For all the establishments, government has recommended ensuring proper social distancing and disinfection of spaces and wearing of masks. "Installation & use of Aarogya Setu App shall be advised to all," it added.

However, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal today announced that hotels and banquet halls will remain closed in the national capital territory from tomorrow. All restaurants, malls and places of worship will, however, open according to Centre's guidelines, he said.

Moreover, the Haryana government has decided to allow reopening of places of worship and shopping malls for public in a regulated manner in its state except in Gurgaon and Faridabad districts, which are the worst-hit by COVID-19, according to a statement.

Here are major rules to follow when entering malls:

1) Entrance to have mandatory hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser) and thermal screening provisions.

2) Only asymptomatic customers/visitors shall be allowed.

3) All workers/customers/visitors to be allowed entry only if using face cover/masks. The face cover/masks has to be worn at all times inside the shopping mall.

4) Posters/standees/AV media on preventive measures about COVID-19 to be displayed prominently.

5) Staggering of visitors to be done, if possible.

6) Adequate manpower shall be deployed by mall management for ensuring social distancing norms.

7) All employees who are at higher risk i.e. older employees, pregnant employees and employees who have underlying medical conditions, to take extra precautions. They should preferably not be exposed to any front-line work requiring direct contact with the public. Shopping mall management to facilitate work from home wherever feasible.

8) Proper crowd management in the parking lots and outside the premises – duly following social distancing norms shall be ensured.

9) Valet parking, if available, shall be operational with operating staff wearing face covers/ masks and gloves as appropriate. A proper disinfection of steering, door handles, keys, etc. of the vehicles should be taken up.

10) Any shops, stalls, cafeteria etc., outside and within the premises shall follow social distancing norms at all times.

11) Specific markings may be made with sufficient distance to manage the queue and ensure social distancing in the premises.

12) Preferably separate entry and exits for visitors, workers and goods/supplies shall be organized.

13) The staff for home deliveries shall be screened thermally by the shopping mall authorities prior to allowing home deliveries.

14) Required precautions while handling supplies, inventories and goods in the shopping mall shall be ensured. Proper queue management and disinfection shall be organized.

15) Maintaining physical distancing of a minimum of 6 feet, when queuing up for entry and inside the shopping mall as far as feasible.

16) Number of customers inside the shop to be kept at a minimum, so as to maintain the physical distancing norms.

17) Seating arrangement, if any, to be made in such a way that adequate social distancing is maintained.

18) Number of people in the elevators shall be restricted, duly maintaining social distancing norms.

19) Use of escalators with one person on alternate steps may be encouraged.

20) For air-conditioning/ventilation, the guidelines of CPWD shall be followed which emphasises that the temperature setting of all air conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30 o C, relative humidity should be in the range of 40-70%, intake of fresh air should be as much as possible and cross ventilation should be adequate.

21) Large gatherings/congregations continue to remain prohibited.

22) Effective and frequent sanitation within the premises shall be maintained with particular focus on lavatories, drinking and hand washing stations/areas.

23) Effective and frequent sanitation within the premises shall be maintained with particular focus on lavatories, drinking and hand washing stations/areas.

24) Cleaning and regular disinfection (using 1% sodium hypochlorite) of frequently touched surfaces (door knobs, elevator buttons, hand rails, benches, washroom fixtures, etc.) to be made mandatory in all malls in common areas as well as inside shops, elevators, escalators etc.

25) Proper disposal of face covers / masks / gloves left over by visitors and/or employees should be ensured. Deep cleaning of all washrooms shall be ensured at regular intervals.

Rules for food courts inside shopping malls:

26) In the food-courts:

a. Adequate crowd and queue management to be ensured to ensure social distancing norms.

b. In food courts and restaurants, not more than 50% of seating capacity to be permitted.

c. Food court staff / waiters should wear mask and hand gloves and take other required precautionary measures.

d. The seating arrangement should ensure adequate social distancing between

patrons as far as feasible.

e. Contactless mode of ordering and digital mode of payment (using e-wallets) to be encouraged.

f. Tables to be sanitized each time customer leaves.

g. In the kitchen, the staff should follow social distancing norms at work place.

27) Gaming Arcades shall remain closed. Children Play Areas shall remain closed. Cinema halls inside shopping malls shall remain closed.

28) In case of a suspect or confirmed case in the premises: Disinfection of the premises to be taken up if the person is found positive.

New rules for restaurants:

Under the restaurant guidelines, the MoHFW stated that restaurants in containment zones shall remain closed. "Only those outside containment zones will be allowed to open up during the ongoing," the health ministry said in a statement.

For those restaurants which are operating or will operate according to rules laid out by each state individually, such restaurants should ensure mandatory hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser) and thermal screening provisions and the entrances. Only asymptomatic staff and patrons shall be allowed and should wear face masks at all times inside the restaurant.

Moreover, the health ministry added that takeaways to be encouraged, instead of Dine-In. Food delivery personnel should leave the packet at customer’s door and Direct handover of the food packet to the customer will not allowed.

“The staff for home deliveries shall be screened thermally by the restaurant authorities prior to allowing home deliveries. Seating arrangement to be made in such a way that adequate social distancing is maintained. In restaurants, not more than 50% of seating capacity to be permitted. Disposable menus are advised to be used. Instead of cloth napkins, use of good quality disposable paper napkins to be encouraged," the statement read.

Contactless mode of ordering and digital mode of payment (using e-wallets) to be encouraged, it added.

Among other SOPs, adequate manpower shall be deployed by restaurant management for ensuring social distancing norms. The other rules are:

1) Disposable menus are advised to be used.

2) Instead of cloth napkins, use of good quality disposable paper napkins to be encouraged.

3) Buffet service should also follow social distancing norms among patrons.

4) Number of people in the elevators shall be restricted, duly maintaining social distancing norms.

5) Use of escalators with one person on alternate steps may be encouraged.

6) For air-conditioning/ventilation, the guidelines of CPWD shall be followed which inter alia emphasises that the temperature setting of all air conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30oC, relative humidity should be in the range of 4070%, intake of fresh air should be as much as possible and cross ventilation should be adequate.

7) Large gatherings/congregations continue to remain prohibited.

8) Effective and frequent sanitation within the premises shall be maintained with particular focus on lavatories, drinking and hand washing stations/areas.

9) Cleaning and regular disinfection (using 1% sodium hypochlorite) of frequently touched surfaces (door knobs, elevator buttons, hand rails, benches, washroom fixtures, etc.) to be made mandatory in all guest service area and common areas.

10) Proper disposal of face covers / masks / gloves left over by patrons and/or staff should be ensured.

11) Deep cleaning of all washrooms shall be ensured at regular intervals.

12) Adequate crowd and queue management to be ensured to ensure social distancing norms.

13) Staff / waiters should wear mask and hand gloves and take other required precautionary measures.

14) Tables to be sanitized each time customer leaves.

15) In the kitchen, the staff should follow social distancing norms at work place. Kitchens area must be sanitized at regular intervals.

16) Gaming Arcades/Children play areas (wherever applicable) shall remain closed.

In case of a suspect or confirmed case in the premises:

a. Place the ill person in a room or area where they are isolated from others.

b. Provide a mask/face cover till such time he/she is examined by a doctor.

c. Immediately inform the nearest medical facility (hospital/clinic) or call the state or district helpline.

d. A risk assessment will be undertaken by the designated public health authority (district RRT/treating physician) and accordingly further action be initiated regarding management of case, his/her contacts and need for disinfection.

e. Disinfection of the premises to be taken up if the person is found positive.

What remains closed:

All establishments that come under containment zones will remain closed as announced earlier. Cinema halls, gaming arcades and children play areas in the mall will remain closed.

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