New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: A week after announcing the fifth phase of the coronavirus-mandated lockdown, which includes phase wise uplifting of the restrictions, the government on Thursday evening released the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for restaurants and hotels to contain the further spread of the coronavirus.

The SOPs issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare includes measures like allowing only asymptomatic staff and guests inside the premises and proper crowd management. The SOPs also said that takeaways should be encouraged, instead of dine-in. Food delivery personnel should leave the packet at the customer’s door. Direct handover of the food packet to the customer will not be allowed.

The Health Ministry also said that the SOPs also contain some generic precautionary measures to be adopted in addition to the specific measures to be ensured at places to contain the spread of this deadly pathogen.

Here’s the complete list of new guidelines for restaurants:

Generic Precautionary Measures:

Physical distancing of at least 6 feet to be followed as far as feasible.

Use of face covers/masks to be made mandatory.

Practice 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) can be made wherever feasible.

Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This 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.

Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest to state and district helpline.

Spitting shall be strictly prohibited.

Installation & use of Aarogya Setu App shall be advised to all.

Specific measures to be followed by all restaurants:

Takeaways to be encouraged, instead of Dine-In. Food delivery personnel should leave the packet at customer’s door. DO NOT handover the food packet directly to the customer. The staff for home deliveries shall be screened thermally by the restaurant authorities prior to allowing home deliveries.

Entrance to have mandatory hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser) and thermal screening provisions. Only asymptomatic staff and patrons shall be allowed. All staff and patrons to be allowed entry only if using face cover/masks. The face cover/masks has to be worn at all times inside the restaurant.

Posters/standees/AV media on preventive measures about COVID-19 to be displayed prominently.

Staggering of patrons to be done, if possible. All employees who are 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. Restaurant management to facilitate work from home wherever feasible.

Proper crowd management in the parking lots and outside the premises – duly following social distancing norms shall be ensured. Adequate manpower shall be deployed by restaurant management for ensuring social distancing norms. Additional patrons to be seated in a designated waiting area with norms of social distancing.

Valet parking, if available, shall be operational with operating staff wearing face covers/ masks and gloves as appropriate. A proper disinfection of steering, door handles, keys, etc. of the vehicles should be taken up.

Specific markings may be made with sufficient distance to manage the queue and ensure social distancing in the premises. Preferably separate entry and exits for patrons, staff and goods/supplies shall be organized.

Required precautions while handling supplies, inventories and goods in the restaurant shall be ensured. Proper queue management and disinfection shall be organized. Maintaining physical distancing of a minimum of 6 feet, when queuing up for entry and inside the restaurant as far as feasible.

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.

Disposable menus are advised to be used. Instead of cloth napkins, use of good quality disposable paper napkins to be encouraged. Buffet service should also follow social distancing norms among patrons.

Number of people in the elevators shall be restricted, duly maintaining social distancing norms. Use of escalators with one person on alternate steps may be encouraged.

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 24-30oC, relative humidity should be in the range of 40-70%, intake of fresh air should be as much as possible and cross ventilation should be adequate.

Large gatherings/congregations continue to remain prohibited.

Effective and frequent sanitation within the premises shall be maintained with particular focus on lavatories, drinking and hand washing stations/areas. Cleaning and regular disinfection (using 1% sodium hypochlorite) of frequently touched surfaces (door knobs, elevator buttons, hand rails, benches, washroom fixtures, etc.) to be made mandatory in all guest service area and common areas.

Deep cleaning of all washrooms shall be ensured at regular intervals. Tables to be sanitized each time customer leaves. In the kitchen, the staff should follow social distancing norms at work place. Kitchens area must be sanitized at regular intervals.

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

In case of a suspect or confirmed case in the premises:

Place the ill person in a room or area where they are isolated from others. Provide a mask/face cover till such time he/she is examined by a doctor. Immediately inform the nearest medical facility (hospital/clinic) or call the state or district helpline.

A risk assessment will be undertaken by the designated public health authority (district RRT/treating physician) and accordingly further action be initiated regarding the management of the case, his/her contacts, and need for disinfection. Disinfection of the premises to be taken up if the person is found positive.

Posted By: Talib Khan