The guidelines also prescribe shop owners to display posters depicting proper way of washing hands, and a handwash facility.

Coronavirus Coronavirus Tuesday, March 24, 2020 - 18:05

Kerala state Health Department has put out safety regulations for merchants and retail shops in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though the state has declared a lockdown, people are allowed to step out to buy necessary things.

The department order directs people to maintain a safe distance while entering a shop. All merchants and retail shop owners have been directed to ensure hand washing facility as well as hand sanitisers at their shops, which should be placed in the shop entrance and near the cash counters, the regulations state.

"Those who are at the cash counters should clean their hands with sanitizer after each payment. Maintain hygiene in washroom, keep sufficient tissue papers and soap solutions in washrooms," reads the order.

The guidelines also prescribe shop owners to display posters depicting the steps and the proper way of washing hands, and guides to use handkerchiefs while coughing or sneezing. Shops have also been directed to promote online transactions to avoid physical contact.

"Shop owners must ensure that their employees are not having any symptoms on a daily basis. They should monitor the absence of their employees at the workplace and make sure they don't have any symptoms," read the guidelines.

The order also mentions that customers can be welcomed or greeted with a ‘Namaste’ instead of handshake.

Though Kerala has enforced a state-wide lockdown, shops that sell necessary goods like groceries and medicines are allowed to remain open between 11 am and 5 pm.

Kerala Director General of Police Loknath Behera had declared on Tuesday that people cannot come out of their houses without legitimate reasons.

Kerala has the second highest number of people who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the country. At the time of writing, the state had 95 confirmed cases, second to Maharashtra, which has 107 cases. The total number of COVID-19 positive persons in India has crossed 500.