Shops have been told to stop putting out newspapers, magazines and refreshments in lounge areas.

A pani puri vendor in IndiaImage Credit:
Coronavirus Coronavirus Wednesday, May 27, 2020 - 09:00

The Andhra Pradesh government has issued a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for opening of garment shops, footwear and jewellery stores as well as street vendors, easing the COVID-19 lockdown in the state.

Apart from general guidelines to maintain physical distancing, use of masks and sanitisers, and sanitising of surfaces with high chances of contact, the SOP has also prohibited the function of trial rooms and sale of pani puri. Only those street vendors who are registered with authorities and have a street vendor’s identity card will be allowed to do business. 

Jewellery stores have been asked to provide disposable gloves to customers, to touch and look at things closely. Shops have also been told to stop putting out newspapers, magazines and refreshments in lounge areas.

Managements of garment, footwear and jewelry stores have been asked to maintain a record with the details of all customers entering the stores premises. Bigger stores are encouraged to to have online bookings for customer visits, the SOP issued by the Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department said.

No stores can allow customers or staff with COVID-19 symptoms to enter the premises, and in case of big stores, asymptomatic people can only enter after thermal screening. All customers in any store will be required to wear masks and sanitise their hands, and all staff members will have to wear masks and gloves.

Stores will have to place sanitisers at every counter, and entry and exit points. All customers will have to maintain 6 feet distance with each other, and stores may have to make markings on the floor to mark the distance if necessary.

Bigger outlets and franchise stores have been asked to place footwear disinfectants at all entry points. In cases where valets are parking the cars of customers, the staff will have to wear masks and gloves, and the car keys will have to be sanitised as needed. Lifts are to be operated by staff members only. However, the maximum number of people allowed in a lift, or the minimum distance to be maintained between people, is not specified.

Stores have been asked to encourage contactless transactions. Cards used for payment will have to be sanitised before and after use.

Only registered street vendors are allowed to do business, and the SOP states that others may obtain an identity card at the nearest ward secretariat.

Street vendors can only sell food as takeaway, and are mandated to wear gloves and masks. “Items like pani puri which have a very high chance of transmission of contamination” are not allowed to be sold.

Vendors have been told to only serve customers wearing masks, and to ensure less than five people gather at the stall at any time, while maintaining distance. Vendors have also been told to wash their hands every half hour, and to carry soap or sanitiser and towel. Vendors who do not move from their spot have also been asked to make markings on the street for physical distancing.

Read: Telugu media sensationalising COVID-19, triggers mental health issues, say doctors

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