SOPs for reopening of various Sectors after Lock down as part of the phased re-opening of activities

The Department of Revenue and Disaster Management, Puducherry on 6th June, 2020 has released Standard Operating Procedures (“SOPs”) on preventive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 in offices and allowing Religious Places / Places of worship for public / Hotels, Restaurants and other hospitality services / shopping malls from 8th June, 2020.

The Puducherry Government has adopted the SOPs laid down by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India for the following activities –

• Religious places / places of worship for public

• Hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services

• Shopping malls

Key Highlights –

Generic measures:
i. Physical distancing of at least 6 feet to be followed as far as feasible;

ii. use of face covers/masks to be made mandatory;

iii. Frequent hand washing with soap (for at least 40-60 seconds) even when hands are not visibly dirty. Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (for at least 20 seconds) wherever feasible;

iv. Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed; involves strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with a tissue/handkerchief/flexed elbow and disposing off used tissues properly.

v. Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest to State and District helpline;

vi. Spitting strictly prohibited;

vii. Installation and use of Aarogya Satu app shall be advised to all;

Key specific measures for Offices:
1. Mandatory hand hygiene and thermal screening at entrance;
2. Only asymptomatic staff/ visitor allowed; residents of Containment Zones to inform supervisory officer and refrain from attending office till containment zone is de-notified and be permitted to work from home (WfH) without being considered to be on leave;
3. Encourage meeting through video conferencing;
4. Prominently display Posters/standees/AV media on preventive measures about COVID-19;
5. Stagger office hours, wherever possible;
6. Mandatory use of face covers / masks along with frequent hand washing and /or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Respiratory etiquettes should be strictly adhered to while sneezing or coughing. Supervisory officer should be informed about any illness at the earliest;
7. Arrange hand sanitisers, soap and running water in washrooms;
8. Maintain adequate social distancing while making seating arrangements;
9. Restrict number of people and maintain social distancing in elevators;
10. Properly dispose face covers / masks / gloves used by all;
11. Maintain social distancing norms in cafeteria/canteen/dining halls. Make staff / waiters wear mask, hand gloves and take other required precautionary measures. Seating arrangement should ensure minimum 1 meter between patrons;
12. Drivers living in containment zones should not attend work. Disinfect common surfaces in cars using 1% sodium hypochlorite solution/ spray;
13. Upon occurrence of cases among employees, isolate unwell person from others and inform nearest medical facility or call State or District doctor.
14. Steps for closure/disinfection of office spaces in the event an employee tests positive:
a. For one or two cases, disinfect places/areas visited by the patient in the last 48 hours. Do not close the entire office building/halt work in other offices of the building.
b. For larger outbreaks, close the entire building/block for 48 hours after thorough disinfection. Allow staff to WfH till adequate disinfection of building/block is carried out and is declared fit for re-occupation.

Key points specific to re-opening religious places:

1. Entrance to have hand sanitizer dispenser and thermal screening provisions;

2. Asymptomatic persons to be allowed;

3. Audio and Video clips to spread awareness on preventive measures for COVID-19 should be regularly played;

4. Shoes/ footwear to be preferably taken off inside own vehicle. If needed they should be kept in separate slots for each individual/family by the persons themselves;

5. Maintain physical distancing of a minimum of 6 feet at all times when queuing up for entry;

6. People should wash their hand and feet with soap and water before entering the premises;

7. Seating arrangement to be made in such a way that adequate social distancing is maintained;

8. Touching of statues/idols / holy books etc. not allowed;

9. Avoid physical contact while greeting each other;

10. Common prayer mats should be avoided and devotees should bring their own prayer mat or piece of cloth which they may take back with them;

11. No physical offerings like Prasad/distribution or sprinkling of holy water, etc. to be allowed inside the religious place;

12. Frequent cleaning and disinfection to be maintained by the management;

Key (specific) measures for re-opening of Hotels and other Hospitality Units:
Ensure:
1. hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser) and thermal screening provisions at entrance; separate entry and exit for staff and guests and goods;

2. that only asymptomatic staff and guests are allowed;

3. that staff and guests are allowed entry only if they wear face cover/masks;

4. that adequate manpower is deployed by ensuring social distancing norms;

5. that staff to wear gloves and take required precautionary measures;

6. that employees at higher risk i.e. older employees, pregnant employees and employees who have underlying medical conditions, to take extra precautions. They should preferably not be exposed to any front-line work requiring direct contact with the public. Hotel management to facilitate work from home wherever feasible;

7. proper crowd management with social distancing norms;

8. that valet parking (if available) wears face covers/ masks and gloves as appropriate;

9. that physical distancing is maintained while people queue-up for entry and inside the hotel as feasible;

10. restriction on number of people in the elevator with social distancing norms, use of escalators with one person on alternate steps;

11. that details of guest (travel history, medical condition etc.) along with ID and self-declaration form provided by the guest at the reception;

12. Prominent display of posters/ standees/ AV media on preventive measures about COVID-19;

13. to keep hand sanitizer at the reception for guests;

14. adoption of contactless processes like QR online forms, digital payments like e-wallet etc. for both check-in and check-out;

15. availability of appropriate personal protection gears like face covers/masks, gloves and hand sanitizers etc. by hotel to the staff as well as the guests;

16. that for air-conditioning/ventilation, the guidelines of CPWD is followed which inter alia emphasises that the temperature setting of all air conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30, relative humidity should be in the range of 40 to 70%, intake of fresh air should be as much as possible and cross ventilation should be adequate;

17. effective and frequent sanitation within the premises shall be maintained with particular focus on lavatories, drinking and hand washing stations/areas;

18. cleaning and regular disinfection (using 1% sodium hypochlorite) of frequently touched surfaces (door knobs, elevator buttons, hand rails, benches, washroom fixtures, etc.) in all guest service area and common areas;

19. proper disposal of face covers / masks / gloves left over by guests and/or staff;

20. sanitization of rooms and other service areas each time a guest leaves;

21. that the kitchen staff follows social distancing norms at the work place and kitchen is sanitized at regular intervals;

22. In case of a suspect or confirmed case in the premises:
a. Place the ill person in an isolation room or area;
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;

Key measures specific to re-opening of Restaurants:

1. Takeaways to be encouraged instead of dine-in; Food delivery personnel to leave the packet at the customer’s door and not hand over the food to customer directly;

2. Staff for home delivery to be screened thermally prior to allowing home delivery;

3. Mandatory hand sanitizer dispenser at the entrance;

4. Only asymptomatic staff and patrons to be allowed; staff and patrons to be allowed entry only if using face cover/masks; face covers/ masks to be worn at all times inside the restaurant;

5. Prominent display of Posters/standees/AV media on preventive measures about COVID-19;

6. Adequate manpower shall be deployed by restaurant management for ensuring social distancing norms;

7. Additional patrons to be seated in a designated waiting area with norms of social distancing;

8. Seating arrangement to be made in such a way that adequate social distancing is maintained. In restaurants, not more than 50% of seating capacity to be permitted;

9. For air-conditioning/ventilation, the guidelines of CPWD 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, relative humidity should be in the range of 40 to 70%, intake of fresh air should be as much as possible and cross ventilation should be adequate;

10. Effective and frequent sanitation within the premises shall be maintained with particular focus on lavatories, drinking and hand washing stations/areas;

11. Cleaning and regular disinfection (using 1% sodium hypochlorite) of frequently touched surfaces (door knobs, elevator buttons, hand rails, benches, washroom fixtures, etc.) in all guest service area and common areas;

12. Proper disposal of face covers / masks / gloves left over by patrons and/or staff should be ensured.

13. Deep cleaning of all washrooms shall be ensured at regular intervals;

14. Staff / waiters should wear mask and hand gloves and take other required precautionary measures;

15. Contactless mode of ordering and digital mode of payment (using e-wallets) to be encouraged;

16. Tables to be sanitized each time customer leaves;

17. In the kitchen, the staff should follow social distancing norms at work place; kitchens area must be sanitized at regular intervals;

18. Gaming Arcades/Children play areas (wherever applicable) shall remain closed;

19. In case of suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 within the premises:
a. Place the ill person in a room or area 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.
Key measures specific to re-opening of Shopping Malls:

Ensure:
1. Provision of hand sanitizer dispenser and thermal screening provisions at the entrance;

2. Asymptomatic customers and visitors/ workers allowed; everyone to wear face masks;

3. Prominently display AV media on preventive measures about COVID-19;

4. Deployment of adequate manpower to ensure social distancing;

5. Any shops, stalls, cafeteria etc., outside and within the premises to follow social distancing norms at all times;

6. Thermal screening of staff for home deliveries prior to allowing home deliveries.

7. Number of people in the elevators shall be restricted, duly maintaining social distancing norms;

8. Large gatherings/congregations continue to remain prohibited;

9. Cleaning and regular disinfection (using 1% sodium hypochlorite) of frequently touched surfaces (door knobs, elevator buttons, hand rails, benches, washroom fixtures, etc.)

10. Food courts to ensure social distancing norms; contactless mode of payment to be preferred; tables to be sanitized after customers leave;

11. Gaming arcades and children play areas to remain closed;

Source: Department of Revenue and Disaster Management, Puducherry

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