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Ministry issues guidelines for customers, shopping malls

As the coronavirus lockdown was being lifted from Monday, and the malls, restaurants, hotels and places of worship were being re-opened in the first phase of 'Unlock', the Ministry of Health issued a set of guidelines to be followed by the customers as well as by the malls.

NEW DELHI, June 8: Since shopping malls are frequented by a large number of people for shopping, entertainment and food every day, social distancing and other preventive measures should be followed to prevent spread of coronavirus infection. The Health Ministry has issued the following guidelines.

Guidelines for customers

  1. Persons above 65 years of age, those with comorbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years are advised to stay at home
  2. Physical distancing of at least 6 feet to be followed as far as feasible.
  3. Use of face covers/masks to be made mandatory.
  4. Practice frequent hand washing with soap (for at least 40-60 seconds) even when hands are not visibly dirty. Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (for at least 20 seconds) can be made wherever feasible.
  5. Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing off used tissues properly.
  6. Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest to State and district helpline.
  7. Spitting shall be strictly prohibited.
  8. Installation & use of Aarogya Setu App shall be advised to all.

Guidelines for shopping 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 inter alia emphasises that the temperature setting of all air conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30 deg C, relative humidity should be in the range of 40.

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