After being closed for over 3 months due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, shopping malls in Gurgaon and Faridabad have been permitted to reopen from July 1, with the Government of Haryana releasing a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) on Sunday that they have to follow.
The SOPs state that malls can operate between 9 am and 8 pm, but cinema halls, gaming arcades, and children’s play areas inside them will remain closed for now. The SOPs are laid out for four “stakeholders”, namely owners of the malls, visitors, shopkeepers, and food vendors, and municipalities. Follow coronavirus pandemic LIVE updates
All visitors, the directions read, will have to wear “face covers/masks” during their visit, ensure social distancing, and install and use Aarogya Setu App. In addition, they will be expected to follow “respiratory etiquettes”.
“This involves the practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue paper/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing off used tissue papers properly.” the SOPs read.
For owners, the SOPs state that apart from “generic preventive measures”, such as social distancing and wearing face masks, “hand hygiene” and thermal scanning of each visitor at the entry point has to be ensured, and large gatherings prevented.
Owners have also been directed to make valet parking operational, “if available”, with “proper disinfection” of “steering, door handles, keys, etc.” of the vehicles. In terms of escalators, the SOPs state their use, with “one person on alternate steps”.
The SOP also directs all restaurants and food courts to follow “staggering of visitors ”to ensure “not more than 50% of seating capacity” is permitted at any time.
The SOPs also direct the procedure to be followed if a suspect or confirmed case is found inside the mall premises. “The ill person must be placed in a room or area where they are isolated from others and given a face mask or cover until they are examined by a doctor. The nearest medical facility must then be informed, or authorities alerted through the state or district helpline. A risk assessment will then be undertaken by the designated public health authority and accordingly, further action initiated. Disinfection of the premises must also be done if the person is found positive,” it stated.
Municipalities have been given the responsibility of monitoring compliance of these directions and checking that proper sanitization is done. They have also been directed to issue challans of Rs 500 to visitors not wearing masks.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines