Government releases guidelines for Unlock 1.0
As the country prepares to emerge from a two-month lockdown, the government announces a standard operating procedure for restaurants, malls and religious spaces.
The government has mandated certain general measures like compulsory face cover or masks, a physical distancing of at least six feet and restricted use of closed spaces like elevators in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus during the unlock period. Entry to most places will be allowed only for asymptomatic people and those above the age of 65, those with comorbidities and pregnant women are advised to remain at home. Washrooms, drinking and handwashing stations must be sanitised thoroughly and frequently.
Religious places outside containment zones have been allowed to open and they would have to follow the general guidelines prescribed above. The touching of idols, statues and holy books will not be allowed and neither will physical offerings like distribution of prasad or sprinkling of holy water. People shouldn’t use common prayer mats and instead bring their own. Strict physical distancing should be followed in community kitchens for aana dhan or langar and all those who come must have downloaded the government’s Aaroya Setu app.
In restaurants, take away should be encouraged as much as possible. Home delivery should be undertaken only after the staff are thermally screened and there should be no contact between the delivery person and the customer. The restaurants should not operate at more than 50% seating capacity and additional patrons should be seated in a well-ventilated waiting area. Disposable menus and napkins must be provided. Hotels have been advised to collect details like travel history and medical condition of guests.
Malls have been allowed to open but entrances should have mandatory hand sanitisation and thermal screening arrangements. If possible, malls are advised to only allow a certain number of people to enter at a given time and to provide separate entrances to visitors, workers and goods. Employees with a high risk of contraction of the virus must be kept away from customer-facing jobs and those who are in constant contact with the public must wear masks and gloves at all times. There should be no overcrowding inside shops and people must be encouraged to stand on alternate steps in the escalator. Children’s play areas, gaming arcades and cinema halls will remain closed.