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Restaurants, malls, shrines to reopen from today subject to conditions

As India enters the first phase of unlocking it’s stringent lockdown to put in place the wide-spread outbreak of COVID-19,  The Ministry of Home Affairs has now directed to reopen shopping malls, restaurants and temples in the areas outside the Containment Zones across the country.

Safety guidelines like following social distancing protocols, wearing a mask, and installing the ‘Aarogya Setu’ mobile app has been made mandatory for people visiting these places. Temples, shopping malls, hotels, and restaurants had already started the preparation for following safety measures in the wake of the pandemic, once the guidelines were announced.

The Ministry has specified maintaining an ambient air conditioning temperature of 24 to 30 degrees and a humidity level between 40 per cent and 70 per cent in shopping malls. Though shopping malls would be functional, gaming arcades, children’s play areas, and cinema halls inside malls would remain shut. The number of people in the elevators shall be restricted, duly maintaining social distancing norms.

In restaurant take away should be encouraged and not than 50 per cent of seating capacity shall be permitted and disposable menus are to be used. They should have disposable menus and disposable napkins for dine-in. Entrance to have mandatory hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser) and thermal screening provisions.

Hotel rooms, restaurant tables to be sanitized each time the customer leaves. Kitchens area must be sanitized at regular intervals.

In places of worship Ministry has specified that there would be no distribution of prasad or sprinkling of holy water or touching of idols and holy books, every individual would be asked to wash their hands and feet before entering.

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