SCAI draws up new safety guidelines for malls including dedicated apps
The Shopping Centres Association of India has drawn up a new set of guidelines and safety protocol for malls to encourage the government to allow them to reopen under the extended lockdown.
In a bid to open shopping malls in India as soon as possible, SCAI has created new guidelines for malls including dedicated apps and on-site health screening for workers and customers alike, ET Bureau reported. A number of malls have already started redesigning their spaces to facilitate social distancing and are creating pandemic response teams to tackle the issue of reopening safely.
According to SCAI, reopened malls would be required to have an adequate stock of masks, sanitisers, disinfectants, and gloves available to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission. Isolation rooms for people who are potentially infected would also be required.
SCAI also suggested that retailers hand out sneeze guards as additional protection on top of masks in retail outlets. Malls’ food courts would open partially reopen and downloadable apps would be used to order food to allow for social distancing. As well as temperature checks for employees and customers and deep-cleans after every meal, SCAI suggested serving only packaged foods until the pandemic subsides.
Many malls have been closed since a week or two before the nationwide lockdown was enforced. Retailers renting stores in malls have asked for flexibility on rent payments as they are struggling with zero income. Although some malls have agreed to offer discounts or payment plans on rent, others have cited their own financial commitments to banks as the reason they cannot offer flexibility.
On Sunday, the Central Government extended the nationwide lockdown until May 31. Phase four of lockdown will see more stores reopen in areas with few coronavirus cases, but schools and religious spaces will remain shut.
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