INDIA: Until recently feted for its world-beating economic growth, India today is Asia’s coronavirus hotspot, facing a long road out of a crisis that’s left businesses broken and millions jobless. The rapid increase of coronavirus has created a big impact on everyone’s life.

To start the flow of economic activities, Centre had earlier announced Unlock 1.0 on 30th May, in which government had further relaxed the restrictions to start the commercial market.

On Thursday, The Central Government announced new rules for allowing shopping malls, restaurants, hotels and places of worship to open gradually as second phase of Unlock 1.0 commence from June 8. However, these activities will only be practiced outside containment zones.

The Standard operating procedures (SOPs) aim to minimize all possible physical contacts and maintain social distancing and other preventive safety measures against Covid-19. It is also mandate to install and use Aarogya setu app.

SOPs for religious places

  • Individuals must maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet in public places as far as feasible.
  • 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.
  • Proper crowd management in the hotel as well as in outside premises like parking lots-duly following social distancing norms shall be ensured. Large gatherings/congregations continue to remain prohibited.
  • Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves the strict practise of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing of used tissues properly.
  • Only asymptomatic persons shall be allowed on the premises.
  • Posters/standees on preventive measures about COVID-19 to be displayed prominently. Audio and Video clips to spread awareness on preventive measures for COVID-19 should be regularly played.

SOPs for restaurants:

  • Takeaways to be encouraged, instead of Dine-In. Food delivery personnel should leave the packet at the customer’s door. Direct handover of the packet is not allowed
  • The staff for home deliveries shall be screened thermally by the restaurant authorities prior to allowing home deliveries
  • Entrance to have mandatory hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser) and thermal screening provisions
  • Only asymptomatic staff and patrons shall be allowed and it is mandatory for them to put face cover or masks all the time.
  • Seating arrangement to be made in such a way that adequate social distancing is maintained. In restaurants, not more than 50% of the seating capacity is permitted
  • Disposable menus, good quality disposable paper napkins are advised to be used

SOPs for Shopping Malls:

Persons above 65 years of age, persons with comorbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years are advised to stay at home, except for essential and health purposes. Shopping mall management to advise accordingly. The generic measures include simple public health measures that are to be followed to reduce the risk of COVID-19. These measures need to be observed by all (workers and visitors) in these places at all times. 

  • Physical distancing of at least 6 feet has to be maintained.
  • Use of face covers and masks and frequent hand washing is mandatory.
  • Use of Aarogya Setu app has also been advised.
  • Shopping Mall management to facilitate work from home wherever feasible.
  • Proper crowd management in the parking lots and outside the premises – duly following social distancing norms shall be ensured.
  • 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.
  • Any shops, stalls, cafeteria etc., outside and within the premises shall follow social distancing norms at all times.
  • Specific markings may be made with sufficient distance to manage the queue and ensure social distancing in the premises. 
  • Preferably separate entry and exits for visitors, workers and goods/supplies shall be organized. 
  • The staff for home deliveries shall be screened thermally by the shopping mall authorities prior to allowing home deliveries. 
  • Required precautions while handling supplies, inventories and goods in the shopping mall shall be ensured. Proper queue management and disinfection shall be organized. 
  • Number of customers inside the shop to be kept at a minimum, and seating arrangement, if any, to be made in such a way that adequate social distancing is maintained. 

The number of people in lifts shall be restricted, again maintaining social distancing. Temperature settings for all air conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30 degrees Celsius; 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. Proper crowd management in parking areas and outside the premises must be ensured. People above 65 years of age, those with comorbidities and pregnant women have been advised to stay at home, except for essential and health purposes.