New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Haryana government on Sunday announced that the shopping malls in Gurugram and Faridabad will re-open from July 1, three months after they were closed due to the nation-wide lockdown, which was imposed in late March to contain the spread of the coronavirus. 

The government, however, said that the malls will have to implement the Standard Operating Procedures issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The administration also said that religious places in Gurugram will remain closed. 

The Gurgaon district administration said it would implement the state government's decision on reopening malls with certain restrictions, whereas the Faridabad authorities will take a final call on the matter in a meeting on Monday.

According to an order issued by the additional chief secretary of the urban local bodies department, the district administrations have been given permission to reopen malls in Gurgaon and Faridabad in the National Capital Region.

“It has been decided that malls will be allowed to open next week and they will have to follow the standard operating procedure (SOP) issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs. All norms pertaining to social distancing will have to be strictly followed,” said Gurugram Municipal Corporation Commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh.

"Malls and shops which will not follow the SOPs will be shut down. No orders have been received to open religious places," he added.

According to a health bulletin on Saturday, Gurgaon accounted for 5,070 of the total 13,427 cases in the state, while Faridabad had 3,325. The COVID-19 death toll in Gurgaon was 83 and in Faridabad 71, out of the state's tally of 218.

Malls in Gurugram and Faridabad were closed after PM Modi on March 25 announced the nation-wide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. However, as a part of Centre's Unlock 1.0 -- the phase-wise upliftment of the lockdown --, the Haryana government allowed the malls and religious places to reopen across the state from June 8, except for Faridabad and Gurugram, the two worst-hit districts in the state. 

According to the SOPs issued by the Home Ministry, only asymptomatic customers will be allowed with face masks to enter the mall. Every entry point will have hand sanitiser dispensers and thermal screening. It will be mandatory for all visitors as well as workers to wear face masks at all times inside the mall.  

Posters and audio-visual media on preventive measures about COVID-19 should be displayed prominently. Visitor entry to shopping malls should be allowed in a staggered manner and adequate manpower is deployed by mall management for ensuring social distancing norms.

All employees who are at higher risk like elderly, pregnant women and those having underlying medical conditions should 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 visitors, workers and goods/supplies shall be organised.

Posted By: Talib Khan