After being closed for 20 days, the Ernakulam market reopened partially on Tuesday. After a spike in COVID-19 cases through local transmission and a few workers at the market testing positive, the market was shut on July 1. As per the new rules, customers will be allowed to visit the market from 11 am to 7 pm. Traders have been given separate timings for unloading goods from lorries.
As per the reopening plan, the district administration will allow only 50% of the shops to open. Shop owners will have to draw spots outside their shop to mark 2-metre distance to maintain physical distancing. Only one entry and exit will be available and all other entries to the market will be closed. People without masks will not be allowed inside and usage of sanitisers is mandatory at the shops.
The market will be disinfected every day. Lorry and truck drivers who bring goods to the market are not allowed to leave their vehicle or mingle with the customers. They have also been asked to leave immediately after unloading the goods. If they have a return load, the Station House Officer of the area will decide a confined place where they can rest. Police will constantly patrol the market on two-wheelers.
The administration will collect the list of shops that will open in advance and shop owners will be allowed to open their shop in the presence of police officers. Shop owners can provide tea or eatables to truck drivers who deliver their goods, but only in disposable cups and plates. They should also ensure that this waste is disposed of properly.
The district administration has also directed that special toilet facilities should be provided for truck drivers inside the market.
On July 10, six other markets in the district were also temporarily shut after many workers at these markets tested positive.