Given the current COVID-19 outbreak in India, it is important that restaurants and other hospitality units take suitable measures to restrict any further transmission of the virus while providing restaurant services. The Government of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has therefore issued an SOP on preventive measures in Restaurants to contain the spread of COVID-19. This document outlines generic precautionary measures that restaurants can adopt in addition to specific measures that must be ensured at particular places to prevent spread of COVID-19.
Restaurants in containment zones shall remain closed. Only those outside containment zones will be allowed to open up.
Generic preventive measures
It is advisable for persons above 65 years of age, persons with comorbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years to stay at home, except for buying essentials and for health purposes. Restaurant management must advise customers accordingly.
Generic public health measures
The following are simple generic public health measures that reduce the risk of COVID-19. These measures need to be observed by all (staff and patrons) in restaurants at all times. These include:
- Physical distancing of at least 6 feet to be followed as far as feasible.
- Use of face covers/masks to be made mandatory.
- Practice frequent hand washing with soap (for at least 40-60 seconds) even when hands are not visibly dirty. Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers (for at least 20 seconds) can be made wherever feasible.
- Respiratory etiquettes to be strictly followed. This involves strict practice of covering one’s mouth and nose while coughing/sneezing with tissue/handkerchief/flexedelbow and disposing off used tissues properly.
- Self-monitoring of health by all and reporting any illness at the earliest to state and district helpline.
- Spitting shall be strictly prohibited.
- Installation and use of Aarogya Setu App shall be advised to all.
All Restaurants shall ensure the following arrangements:
- Encourage take-away instead of Dine-In.
- Food delivery personnel should leave the packet at customer’s door. DO NOT handover the food packet directly to the customer.
- The staff for home deliveries shall be screened thermally by the restaurant authorities prior to allowing home deliveries.
- Mandatory hand hygiene (sanitizer dispenser) and thermal screening provisions at the entrance
- Only asymptomatic staff and patrons permitted entry.
- All staff and patrons to be allowed entry only if using face cover/masks. The facecover/masks have to be worn at all times inside the restaurant.
- Posters/standees/AV media on preventive measures about COVID-19 to be displayed prominently.
- Staggering of patrons to be done, if possible.
- Adequate manpower shall be deployed by restaurant management for ensuring social distancing norms.
- All employees who are at higher risk i.e. older employees, pregnant employees and employees who have underlying medical conditions, to take extra precautions. They should preferably not be exposed to any front-line work requiring direct contact with the public. Restaurant management to facilitate work from home wherever feasible.
- Proper crowd management in the parking lots and outside the premises – duly following social distancing norms shall be ensured.
- Additional patrons to be seated in a designated waiting area with norms of social distancing.
- Valet parking, if available, shall be operational with operating staff wearing facecovers/ masks and gloves as appropriate. A proper disinfection of steering, door handles, keys, etc. of the vehicles should be taken up.
- Specific markings may be made with sufficient distance to manage the queue and ensure social distancing in the premises.
- Preferably separate entry and exits for patrons, staff and goods/supplies shall be organized.
- Required precautions while handling supplies, inventories and goods in the restaurant shall be ensured. Proper queue management and disinfection shall be organized.
- Maintaining physical distancing of a minimum of 6 feet, when queuing up for entry and inside the restaurant as far as feasible.
- Seating arrangement to be made in such a way that adequate social distancing is maintained. In restaurants, not more than 50% of seating capacity to be permitted.
- Disposable menus are advised to be used
- Instead of cloth napkins, use of good quality disposable paper napkins to be encouraged.
- Buffet service should also follow social distancing norms among patrons.
- Number of people in the elevators shall be restricted, duly maintaining social distancing norms.
- Use of escalators with one person on alternate steps may be encouraged.
- For air-conditioning/ventilation, the guidelines of CPWD shall be followed which inter alia emphasises that the temperature setting of all air conditioning devices should be in the range of 24-30oC, relative humidity should be in the range of 40-70%, intake of fresh air should be as much as possible and cross ventilation should be adequate.
- Large gatherings/congregations continue to remain prohibited.
- Effective and frequent sanitation within the premises shall be maintained with particular focus on lavatories, drinking and hand washing stations/areas.
- Cleaning and regular disinfection (using 1% sodium hypochlorite) of frequently touched surfaces (door knobs, elevator buttons, hand rails, benches, washroom fixtures, etc.) to be made mandatory in all guest service area and common areas.
- Proper disposal of face covers / masks / gloves left over by patrons and/or staff should be ensured.
- Deep cleaning of all washrooms shall be ensured at regular intervals.
- Adequate crowd and queue management to be ensured to ensure social distancing norms.
- Staff / waiters should wear mask and hand gloves and take other required precautionary measures.
- Contactless mode of ordering and digital mode of payment (using e-wallets) to be encouraged.
- Tables to be sanitized each time customer leaves.
- In the kitchen, the staff should follow social distancing norms at work place. Kitchen area must be sanitized at regular intervals.
- Gaming Arcades/Children play areas (wherever applicable) shall remain closed.
In case of a suspect or confirmed case in the premises:
- Place the ill person in a room or area where they are isolated from others.
- Provide a mask/face cover till such time he/she is examined by a doctor.
- Immediately inform the nearest medical facility (hospital/clinic) or call the state or district help-line.
- A risk assessment will be undertaken by the designated public health authority (district RRT/treating physician) and accordingly further action be initiated regarding management of case, his/her contacts and need for disinfection.
- Disinfection of the premises to be taken up if the person is found positive.