Lockdown 2.0: Masks made compulsory

Wearing of face masks or face covers shall be compulsory in all public spaces and workplaces, sale of liquor and tobacco will be strictly banned and spitting in public spaces shall be punishable with fine during the extended lockdown.

According to the ‘National Directives for Covid-19 Management’ issued by the home ministry as part of revised consolidated guidelines for the extended lockdown, no organisation or manager of a public space shall allow a gathering of five or more people and all those in charge of public places, workplaces and transport shall ensure social distancing as per health ministry guidelines. Gatherings such as marriages and funerals shall remain regulated by district magistrates.

In workspaces where activities are allowed to resume from April 20, temperature screening and providing sanitisers will be a must. Also, workplaces should maintain an hour’s gap between shifts and ensure that lunch breaks of staff are staggered to maintain social distancing.

The directives require senior citizens and parents of children below five years to be encouraged to work from home. Large meetings will be prohibited and workplaces sanitised in between shifts. Use of Aarogya Setu app shall be encouraged for both public and private sector employees.

Manufacturing establishments permitted to operate during the lockdown will need to frequently clean common surfaces and hand washing will be mandatory. They will also have to avoid overlap of lifts and carry out intensive communication of good hygiene practices.

Standard operating procedures have been laid down under the home ministry’s revised guidelines for social distancing in offices, workplace, factories and establishments. These require all areas on their premises including entrance gates, canteens, equipment, lifts, walls and washrooms to be disinfected completely with user friendly disinfectant.

Special transport arrangements should be made by employers to ferry workers coming from outside. Such vehicles should ply with 30-40% passenger capacity.

Medical insurance for workers has been made mandatory. Thermal screening of everyone at entry and exit points would be required, with a total ban on non-essential visitors. No more than 2-4 people should be allowed to travel in lifts (depending on the size) or hoists. Use of staircase is to be encouraged. There should be strict ban on gutka and tobacco consumption and spitting should be strictly prohibited. Hospitals and clinics in the vicinity that are authorised to treat Covid-19 patients should be identified and their list should be available at the workplace at all times.

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