The stage is set for reopening of places of worship, hotels, restaurants, other hospitality services, shopping malls (other than gaming centres and cinema halls) in Telangana from Monday, albeit with some restrictions to keep the spread of coronavirus under check.

The State government has issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) on Sunday within the purview of guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The places to be reopened from Monday, however, continue to remain in shutdown in the containment zones. In the orders issued by MHA on May 30, prohibiting these activities in containment zones till June and their reopening in the areas outside containment zones in a phased manner.

The general SOPs for reopening of these places, where people are expected to gather in good numbers, include provision of hand wash/sanitiser and thermal scanning at entrance, allowing entry to only asymptomatic persons, planning staggering of devotees/visitors/customers, if possible, making face-mask wearing mandatory for visitors as well as staff, preventing large congregation/gathering, display of posters/audio-visual material on preventive measures against COVID-19, and maintaining air conditioning, wherever installed, with temperature range of 24 degree Celsius to 30 degree C and relative humidity range of 40% to 70% by the managements.

Further, effective and frequent cleaning, sanitation and disinfection of premises including floors with focus on lavatories and hand/foot wash areas, deep cleaning of wash-rooms at regular intervals, arrangements for proper disposal of face masks and gloves and mandatory cleaning and regular disinfection of frequently touched surfaces such as door knobs, elevator buttons, hand rails, benches, washroom fixtures using 1% sodium hypochlorite are among general SOPs.

They also include discouraging visit of higher risk persons such as older people and pregnant women, making markings to ensure safe distance between persons in queues, making valet parking staff wear face masks and gloves, proper disinfection of steering, door handles and keys of vehicles, crowd management for social distancing everywhere including in parking lots, shops, stalls and cafeteria, proper precautions including disinfection while handling supplies and inventories and restriction of number of persons in elevators and escalators.

Gaming arcades and children’s play areas in shopping malls, hotels and restaurants would have to be kept closed in the areas being re-opened.

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