The Punjab government on Saturday issued the standard operating procedure for the reopening of malls and religious places from June 8. Entry into malls will be restricted so that physical distancing guidelines can be followed and only 20 people will be allowed inside places of worship at the same time.

The government said that entry into malls will be allowed on the basis of a token system and visitors are required to download the Corona Virus Alert or COVA App on their phones. The number of people allowed in each shop will also be fixed. “The maximum capacity of persons allowed in each shop in the mall shall be fixed on the basis of maintenance of six-feet distance,” the state government said in its guidelines.

Shops in malls are required to have markers to enable physical distancing and the use of lifts will be prohibited, except for disabled people and in case of a medical emergency. People will not be allowed to try on clothes in malls.

The government added that restaurants and food courts in malls will only be allowed to accept take away orders and to deliver food to homes. Hotels will only be allowed to provide room service to their guests.

Religious places in Punjab will be allowed to open from 5 am to 8 pm everyday. They will, however, not be allowed to serve ‘prasad’ or food to the worshippers. People visiting religious places will have to wear protective masks and maintain distance from others.

States are preparing to open public places while also dealing with an increasing number of coronavirus cases. Punjab has reported 2,461 coronavirus cases and 48 deaths so far, according to the Union health ministry.

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  3. Coronavirus: Jama Masjid asks worshippers to wear masks, carry mats for namaz ahead of reopening

On Thursday, the Centre had issued the standard operating procedure for reopening places of worship, malls, restaurants, hotels and offices, as part of “Unlock 1” of a three-phase plan to lift the nationwide lockdown.

The government also issued a general set of instructions that are to be followed everywhere. Under this, masks are mandatory at all public places and spitting is strictly prohibited. People are required to maintain a six-feet distance from others and maintain proper hygiene.

The number of coronavirus cases in India crossed 2.36 lakh on Saturday. The cases rose by 9,887 from Friday, in the highest single-day increase so far. India now has 2,36,657 coronavirus cases and 6,642 deaths. It has become the sixth worst-affected country by the pandemic and has overtaken Italy, according to Johns Hopkins University.