Shopping malls in Gurgaon to reopen from July 1, Faridabad to decide on Monday

Gurgaon/Chandigarh, Jun 28 (PTI) The Haryana government has allowed shopping malls in Gurgaon and Faridabad to reopen from July 1, more than two months after they were shut to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The Gurgaon district administration said it would implement the state government's decision on reopening malls with certain restrictions, whereas the Faridabad authorities will take a final call on the matter in a meeting on Monday.

According to an order issued by the additional chief secretary of the urban local bodies department, the district administrations have been given permission to reopen malls in Gurgaon and Faridabad in the National Capital Region.

The Haryana government had earlier allowed malls to reopen from June 7 across the state, barring Gurgaon and Faridabad that accounted for overwhelming proportions of COVID-19 infections and fatalities.

According to a health bulletin on Saturday, Gurgaon accounted for 5,070 of the total 13,427 cases in the state, while Faridabad had 3,325. The COVID-19 death toll in Gurgaon was 83 and in Faridabad 71, out of the state's tally of 218.

When contacted, Gurgaon District Commissioner Amit Khatri said the administration would implement the state government order on opening of malls.

District Commissioner of Faridabad Yashpal Yadav, however, a final decision on the matter will be taken by the district administration in its meeting on Monday.

The state government in its order has listed out various restrictions to ensure social distancing in malls and has categorically said only 50 per cent of the total sitting capacity in restaurants is allowed.

According to the Union Ministry of Health guidelines, cinema halls and children gaming zones in malls will remain shut.

The malls can remain open from 9 am to 8 pm so as to ensure compliance of the night curfew between 9 pm and 5 am, according to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the Urban Local Bodies Department.

People aged 65, children below 10 years, persons with co-morbidities and pregnant women will not be allowed to visit shopping malls.

The SOPs ask aged and pregnant employees and those with underlying conditions to take extra precautions.

“They shall preferably not be exposed to any frontline work requiring direct contact with the public,” the SOPs said.

Shopping mall owners shall facilitate work from home for such workers, wherever feasible, according to the SOPs.

Hand hygiene as well as thermal scanning of each visitor at the entry point shall be ensured.

“Preferably separate entry and exits for visitors, workers and goods/supplies shall be organised,” according to the SOPs.

For air-conditioning/ventilation, the guidelines of the Central Public Works Department shall be followed “which inter alia emphasises that the temperature setting of all air conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30 degrees Celsius”.

Sanitisation shall be done at regular intervals, valet parking, if available, shall be operational with operating staff wearing face covers/masks and gloves.

For the visitors and general public, the SOPs state they must wear face covers/masks, follow social distancing, install and use Aarogya Setu App.

Meanwhile, civic bodies will regularly monitor the compliance of the directions by all shopping malls by undertaking regular visits. PTI JTR SMN SUN VSD RDK