New Delhi : Health Ministry on Thursday released a set of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for restaurants and hotels to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the Unlock 1.0.

The ministry has asked older staff members and pregnant women with underlying medical conditions to take extra precautions.

“They should preferably not be exposed to any front-line work requiring direct contact with the public. Proper crowd management in the parking lots and outside the premises duly following social distancing norms shall be ensured. Preferably, separate entry and exits for patrons, staff and goods/supplies shall be organized,” the ministry said.

The ministry asked hotels and restaurant owners to encourage contactless mode of ordering and digital payments (using e-wallets). For hotels and hospitality services, it asked them to ensure a proper record of the guest’s travel history and medical condition along with ID and self-declaration form.

“Luggage should be disinfected before sending it to rooms. For room service, communication between guests and in-house staff should be through intercom/ mobile phone and room service (if any) should be provided while maintaining adequate social distance,” the ministry said.

Gaming arcades/children play areas (wherever applicable) shall remain closed, the ministry said.

Under new SOPs, the ministry has curtailed the seating capacity in restaurants by 50 percent. Disposable menus are advised to be used. Instead of cloth napkins, the use of disposable paper napkins should be encouraged.

Restaurants have been asked to encourage takeaways instead of dine-in.

“Food delivery personnel should leave the packet at the customer’s door. Do not handover the food packet directly to the customer,” the ministry said.

The ministry noted that the staff for home deliveries shall be screened thermally by the restaurant authorities before allowing home deliveries.

“Entrance to have mandatory hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser) and thermal screening provisions and only asymptomatic staff and patrons shall be allowed. Staggering of patrons to be done, if possible. Adequate manpower should be deployed by restaurant management for ensuring social-distancing norms,” the ministry said.

Health ministry noted that specific markings may be made with sufficient distance to manage the queue and ensure social distancing in the premises. “Maintaining physical distancing of a minimum of 6 feet, when queuing up for entry and inside the restaurant as far as feasible,” it said.

For air-conditioning and ventilation, the ministry said, the guidelines of CPWD shall be followed which inter alia emphasizes that the temperature setting of all air conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30 degrees Celsius. Relative humidity should be in the range of 40-70 percent and intake of fresh air should be as much as possible and cross ventilation should be adequate

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