The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on June 4 released a list of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for shopping malls.
In addition to the generic measures like social distancing and the use of face masks/cover, shopping malls have to follow certain rules to contain the spread of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.
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"Shopping malls in containment zones shall remain closed. Only those outside containment zones will be allowed to open up," the health ministry said.
Here is a complete list of SOP for shopping malls:
i. Entrance to have mandatory hand hygiene (sanitiser dispenser) and thermal screening provisions.
ii. Only asymptomatic customers/visitors shall be allowed.
iii. 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.
iv. Posters/standees/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 the mall's management for ensuring social distancing norms.
vii. All employees who are at higher risk -- older employees, pregnant women and those will underlying medical conditions -- to take extra precautions. They should preferably not be exposed to any frontline work requiring direct contact with the public. 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/ masks and gloves as appropriate. A 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/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. The 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. The 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/ventilation, the guidelines of the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) shall be followed, which inter alia emphasises that the temperature setting of all AC devices should be in the range of 24-30 degree Celcius, relative humidity should be in the range of 40- 70 percent, intake of fresh air should be as much as possible and cross ventilation should be adequate.
xxi. Large gatherings/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/areas.
xxiii. Cleaning and regular disinfection (using 1 percent sodium hypochlorite) of frequently touched surfaces (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/gloves left over by visitors and/or employees should be ensured.
xxv. Deep cleaning of all washrooms shall be ensured at regular intervals.
xxvi. In the food-courts:
a. Adequate crowd and queue management to be ensured to ensure social
b. In food courts and restaurants, not more than 50 percent of the seating capacity to be permitted.
c. Food court staff/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 sanitised each time the customer leaves.
g. In the kitchen, the staff should follow social distancing norms at the workplace.
xxvii. Gaming arcades shall remain closed.
xxviii. Children play Areas shall remain closed.
xxix. Cinema halls inside shopping malls shall remain closed.
xxx. In case of a suspect or confirmed case in the premises:
a. Place the ill person in a room or area where they are isolated from others.
b. Provide a mask/face cover till such time he/she is examined by a doctor.
c. Immediately inform the nearest medical facility (hospital/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, his/her contacts and need for disinfection.
e. Disinfection of the premises to be taken up if the person is found positive.Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak here