The Tamil Nadu government has issued the Standard Operating Procedures for shopping malls to contain the spread of COVID-19. The Tamil Nadu government on Sunday permitted shopping malls to reopen on September 1 after a gap of over five months.
According to the standard operating procedure issued by the government, individuals should maintain physical distancing of at least six-feet as far as feasible. The government has made use of face covers/masks mandatory. Practice frequent hand washing with soap and alcohol-based hand sanitizers (for at least 20 seconds) can also be used for cleaning the hands, the SOP said.
People visiting the mall should follow respiratory etiquette involving strict practice of covering one's mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing of used tissues properly. Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting earliest to state and district helpline. Spitting shall be strictly prohibited. Installation & use of Aarogya Setu is advised.
Guidelines to the management of shopping malls
> Entrance to have mandatory hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser) and thermal screening provisions.
> Only asymptomatic customers/visitors shall be allowed.
> All workers/customers/visitors to be allowed entry only if using face cover/masks. The face cover/masks have to be worn at all times inside the shopping mall.
> Preferably separate entry and exits for visitors, workers and goods/supplies shall be organized.
> Physical distancing of a minimum of six feet, should be maintained when queuing up for entry and inside the shopping mall as far as feasible.
> Staggering of visitors to be done, if possible and adequate manpower shall be deployed by mall management for ensuring social distancing norms.
> Posters/standees on preventive measures about COVID-19 to be displayed prominently. Audio and video clips to spread awareness on preventive measures for COVID-19 should be regularly played.
> 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 frontline work requiring direct contact with the public.
> Proper crowd management in parking lots and outside the premises.
> All shop owners inside the shops and cafetaria and stalls should follow social distancing.
> Specific marking should be made with sufficient distance to manage the queue and ensure social distancing.
> Required precautions while handling supplies, inventories and goods in the shopping mall shall be ensured.
> Number of people inside the stall should be kept at minimum. Number of people using elevators should be restricted.
> For air conditioning and ventilation, the guidelines of CPWD shall be followed which inter alia emphasises that the temperature setting of all AC devices should be in the range of 24-30 C, 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. Air circulation system should allow fresh/treated fresh air within fresh air level more than 50%
> Large gathering, musical concert, cultural programmes and congregation of people are prohibited
> Effective frequent sanitation shall be maintained.
For food courts inside shopping malls
> Adequate crowd and queue management.
> In food courts and restaurants, not more than 50% of seating capacity to be permitted.
> Food court and restaurant staff / walters should wear facemask and hand gloves and take other required precautionary measures.
> The seating arrangement should ensure adequate social distancing between patrons as far as possible.
> Contactless mode of ordering and digital mode of payment (using e-wallets) to be encouraged in order to avoid cash transactions.
> Dining Table Chairs should be disinfected with 2.5% Lysol (1 litre of lysol in 19 litres water) Immediately after every service.
> The bearers, chef and workers in the kitchen should sanitize their hands once every 30 minutes.
> any workers working in the food court/restaurant in the shopping malls have cough, cold or fever they should not be permitted to enter the food court and they should be instructed to consult a government doctor immediately, get tested and follow instructions given by the Doctor. This should be strictly ensured by the owner/manager of the food court.
> Hand sanitizers should be made available in all the dining tables in the food courts/restaurants.
> "No service” boards may be placed on the dining tables in kitchens of food courts/restaurants to maintain social distancing.
Kitchen in restaurants
> In the kitchen, the staff should follow social distancing norms at work place
> The raw material viz vegetables, dhal, rice etc should be cleaned well before cooking
> All the cutleries and crockeries should be washed in soap water and sterilised after every use
> It should be ensured that the chefs including other workers in the kitchen are wearing apron, head wraps, face masks and gloves.
> Kitchen area including floors and cupboards should be cleaned with 1% hypochlorite solution very frequently.
> Gaming arcades shall remain closed
> Children play areas shall remain closed
> Cinema halls inside shopping malls shall remain closed
> Persons above 65 years of age, persons with comorbidities, 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.
In case of a suspect or confirmed case In the premises
> Place the person in a room or area where they are isolated from others.
> Provide a mask/face cover till he/she is examined by a doctor
> Immediately inform the nearest medical facility (hospital/clinic) or call the state or district helpline.
> A risk assessment will be undertaken by the designated public health authority (district RRT/treating physician) and accordingly further action be initiated regarding management of case, his/her contacts and need for disinfection.
> Disinfection of the premises to be taken up if the person is found positive.
The District Administration/Local Body concerned should closely monitor the implementation of the guidelines issued from time to time and the visitors to the Shopping Malls should also satisfy themselves of the same.