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Home / India News / Staggering visitors, social distancing, valet parking: New guidelines for shopping malls from Monday

Staggering visitors, social distancing, valet parking: New guidelines for shopping malls from Monday

The guidelines, which will come into effect from Monday, include measures like staggering visitors to malls, social distancing and other preventive measures.

india Updated: Jun 05, 2020 09:56 IST
hindustantimes.com| Edited by: Meenakshi Ray
hindustantimes.com| Edited by: Meenakshi Ray
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Gaming arcade, children’s play and cinema halls inside shopping malls will not open. Shopping malls in containment zones will remain closed.
Gaming arcade, children’s play and cinema halls inside shopping malls will not open. Shopping malls in containment zones will remain closed.(Reuters file photo)

The Centre has issued detailed guidelines to be followed at shopping malls, which will open up for business from June 8, Monday, as part of its three-phase Unlock 1 plan.

They are among the first of a three-phase plan aimed at lifting stringent restrictions imposed over two months ago to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

The guidelines, which will come into effect from Monday, include measures like staggering visitors to malls, social distancing and other preventive measures.

Gaming arcade, children’s play and cinema halls inside shopping malls will not open. Shopping malls in containment zones will remain closed.

Here are the new Covid-19 guidelines for visitors and management at shopping malls:

Generic preventive measures

* People above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, 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 followed by all visitors and workers:

i. The physical distancing of at least six feet to be followed as far as feasible.

ii. Use of face covers or masks to be made mandatory.

iii. 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.

iv. Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves the strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing of used tissues properly.

v. Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest to state and district helpline.

vi. Spitting shall be strictly prohibited.

vii. Installation and use of Aarogya Setu app shall be advised to all.

All shopping malls will have to ensure the following arrangements:

i. Entrance to have mandatory hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser) and thermal screening provisions.

ii. Only asymptomatic customers or visitors shall be allowed.

iii. All workers, customers and visitors to be allowed entry only if using face cover or masks. The face cover or masks has to be worn at all times inside the shopping mall.

iv. Posters, standees and AV media on preventive measures about Covid-19 to be displayed prominently.

v. Staggering of visitors to be done, if possible.

vi. Adequate manpower shall be deployed by mall management for ensuring social distancing norms.

vii. All employees who are at higher risk ie 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.

viii. Proper crowd management in the parking lots and outside the premises – duly following social distancing norms shall be ensured.

ix. Valet parking, if available, shall be operational with operating staff wearing face covers or masks and gloves as appropriate. Proper disinfection of steering, door handles, keys, etc. of the vehicles should be taken up.

x. Any shops, stalls, cafeteria etc, outside and within the premises shall follow social distancing norms at all times.

xi. Specific markings may be made with sufficient distance to manage the queue and ensure social distancing in the premises.

xii. Preferably separate entry and exits for visitors, workers and goods or supplies shall be organised.

xiii. The staff for home deliveries shall be screened thermally by the shopping mall authorities prior to allowing home deliveries.

xiv. Required precautions while handling supplies, inventories and goods in the shopping mall shall be ensured. Proper queue management and disinfection shall be organised.

xv. Maintaining physical distancing of a minimum of six feet, when queuing up for entry and inside the shopping mall as far as feasible.

xvi. A number of customers inside the shop to be kept at a minimum, so as to maintain the physical distancing norms.

xvii. Seating arrangement, if any, to be made in such a way that adequate social distancing is maintained.

xviii. A number of people in the elevators shall be restricted, duly maintaining social distancing norms.

xix. Use of escalators with one person on alternate steps may be encouraged.

xx. For air-conditioning or 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 degree 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.

xxi. Large gatherings or congregations continue to remain prohibited.

xxii. Effective and frequent sanitation within the premises shall be maintained with particular focus on lavatories, drinking and handwashing stations or areas.

xxiii. Cleaning and regular disinfection using 1% sodium hypochlorite of frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, elevator buttons, handrails, benches, washroom fixtures, etc to be made mandatory in all malls in common areas as well as inside shops, elevators, escalators etc.

xxiv. Proper disposal of face covers, masks and gloves left over by visitors or employees should be ensured.

xxv. Deep cleaning of all washrooms shall be ensured at regular intervals.

Rules for food courts inside shopping malls:

a. Adequate crowd and queue management to be ensured to ensure social distancing norms.

b. In food courts and restaurants, not more than 50% of the seating capacity to be permitted.

c. Food court staff and waiters should wear mask and hand gloves and take other required precautionary measures.

d. The seating arrangement should ensure adequate social distancing between patrons as far as feasible.

e. Contactless mode of ordering and digital mode of payment (using e-wallets) to be encouraged.

f. Tables to be sanitized each time the customer leaves.

g. In the kitchen, the staff should follow social distancing norms.

Rules to follow in case of a suspect or confirmed case inside shopping malls:

a. Place the ill person in a room or area where they are isolated from others.

b. Provide a mask or face cover till such time he/she is examined by a doctor.

c. Immediately inform the nearest medical facility like a hospital or clinic or call the state or district helpline.

d. A risk assessment will be undertaken by the designated public health authority (district RRT/treating physician) and accordingly further action be initiated regarding the management of the case, their contacts and need for disinfection.

e. Disinfection of the premises to be taken up if the person is found positive.

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