Goverment sets standards for operating businesses


With the government officially easing the nationwide lockdown to give momentum to economic activities and bring back some semblance of normalcy, the Ministry of Health and Population and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies have set operational standards for the public and businesses to follow while resuming services.

The Cabinet meeting on Wednesday had decided to loosen the lockdown modality and allow operation of industries, businesses, departmental stores, marts and groceries, restaurants and government and financial institutions.

Officials at the MoHP said these enterprises should meet operational standards set by the government. MoHP has formulated operational standards for businesses and officials at the ministry said these firms, regardless of their size, should comply with these standards.

As per the standards set by the government, departmental stores, marts and groceries must operate for a certain time in coordination with respective local governments and mandatorily equip their staff with masks and gloves.

These outlets must also ensure availability of sanitisers for their staff and customers and check the temperature of workers every day. These outlets must also ensure social distance (at least one metre) among visiting customers.

For industrial operations, every unit must ensure transport facility for workers (both pick-up and drop) and maintain necessary distance between workers at workplace.

Industries must also be operated in multiple shifts and the workplace should be disinfected before every shift. Industries also need to mandatorily provide masks and gloves to workers and ensure that workers’ body temperature is checked before they enter factory.

The government has allowed restaurants to resume services focusing only on home delivery and take-away services, barring Dining-in.

However, workers in restaurants must use masks and gloves. They should also ensure proper cleanliness in the restaurant area.

Restaurant management should also check body temperature of the staff every day and the employees delivering products to customers must wear protective gear.

The government has also allowed private four-wheelers to ply with a maximum of three people including the driver, while pillion riding on motorcycles and scooters has been barred.

“Businesses should strictly follow the set guidelines and take necessary precautionary measures against COVID-19.

The government, through different channels, will monitor whether or not these standards are being met,” said Jageshwor Gautam, spokesperson for MoHP.

For industrial operations, every unit must ensure transport facility for workers and maintain necessary distance between workers at workplace

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 13, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.