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Friday, 05 June, 2020, 10 : 51 AM [IST]

Centre issues SOPs for opening hotels, restaurants, malls, religious places & offices

The Centre is gearing up to lift the lockdown by deciding to open up malls, restaurants, places of religious worship, hotels and other hospitality units as well as offices. On June 4, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare released standard operating procedures (SOPs) to open up the aforementioned places.

All malls, restaurants, places of religious worship, hotels and offices in containment zones will, however, remain closed.

In hotels, all details of guests including travel history, their medical condition along with ID and self-declaration form will be maintained. Luggage will have to be disinfected before being sent up to rooms. In restaurants, menus will be disposable, use of cloth napkins will be discouraged, take-aways will be encouraged instead of opting for dine-in services.

In malls, gaming arcades, children’s play areas and cinema halls shall remain closed. Visitors will be staggered, if possible. Food courts and restaurants will operate at not more than 50 per cent of their capacity. The SOP also states that buffet service should follow social distancing norms among patrons. In all such places, valet parking should be operational, and disinfection of steering, door handles and keys of vehicles will be taken up.

Air-conditioning in these places will always be between 24 and 30 degree celsius, with relative humidity between 40 and 70 per cent. Intake of fresh air and cross ventilation should be adequate.

Contactless processes like QR code scanning, filling up of online forms, digital payments like e-wallet will have to be adopted for transactions.

In religious places, shoes and footwear will have to preferably be taken off inside own vehicle. Touching of statues, idols and holy books will not be allowed. Preferably, recorded devotional music will be played, while choirs or singing groups will not be allowed. Physical contact while greeting will have to be avoided. Also common prayer mats will be avoided. No physical offerings like ‘prasad,’ or sprinkling of holy water is to be allowed. Community kitchens like ‘langars,’ will have to follow social distancing norms.

No persons above 65 years, those with co-morbidities (heart, kidney disease, diabetes, blood pressure and so on) and children below ten will be allowed, except for essential and health purposes in these places.

In offices, if one or two cases are reported, the disinfection will be limited to places or areas visited by the patient in the past 48 hours, but if there is a large outbreak, the building will have to be closed for sanitisation.

Physical distancing of at least six feet, use of face masks, frequent hand-washing, following respiratory etiquette including covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing, sneezing and so on has to be strictly followed, the SOP states. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has stated that installation and use of Aarogya Setu app has been advised.

 
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