As malls, restaurants reopen, here's what you need to know
Monday onwards, India will roll back several lockdown restrictions as part of its plan to "unlock" the nation. In the first phase of the lifting of the lockdown, called 'Unlock 1.0', hotels, restaurants, malls, religious places have been allowed to reopen by the Centre after a gap of over 70 days. Here's what all is reopening from June 8.
The Centre has allowed restaurants to reopen from Monday. However, restaurants have been asked to ensure that all general guidelines are followed. They have been asked to encourage takeaways over dine-in services. If possible, restaurants should allow patrons in a staggered manner. Physical distancing must be followed with at most 50% seating and the use of disposable menu cards has been recommended.
Shopping malls will also be reopened. Customers inside a shop must be kept at a minimum to ensure physical distancing. Any seating arrangement made must also ensure physical distancing. Only 50% of seating capacity is allowed at food courts/restaurants. The mall management must deploy adequate manpower to ensure physical distancing. Gaming arcades, children play areas, cinema halls inside shopping malls shall remain closed.
Although religious places/places of worship are being reopened, people have been restricted from touching statues, idols, holy books, etc. Physical offerings such as prasad distribution or the sprinkling of holy water are also not allowed. Large gatherings and queueing up for entry will also be prohibited. Visitors should preferably remove their footwear inside their vehicles or inside separate slots for each individual.
Hotels and hospitality units have been allowed to reopen. Guests will have to provide details about their travel history, medical condition, etc., along with their IDs and a self-declaration form at the reception. Hotels are directed to adopt contactless processes (digital payments, QR codes, etc.) for check-in/check-out. The luggage will be disinfected before being sent to rooms. Room service/takeaway is encouraged over dine-in.
At all places cited above, the general lockdown guidelines and health precautions such as wearing face masks, maintaining a distance of at least six feet from others, etc. are applicable. Only asymptomatic persons are allowed to enter all aforementioned places.
All aforementioned places will continue to remain shut in containment zones, where the lockdown will continue till June 30. Separately, several states have released specific guidelines restricting more activities. For example, hotels and banquet halls will continue to remain shut across Delhi, while Punjab has decided to keep dine-in facilities at restaurants closed. You may need to recheck curbs enforced in your local area.
In the second phase of the 'Unlock' plan, schools, colleges, educational/training/coaching institutions, etc., will be opened after consultations with states/union territory governments. State/UT governments are being advised to hold consultations at the institution level with parents and other stakeholders. Based on the feedback, a decision in this regard will be taken in July. The Health Ministry will issue separate SOPs for the same.