According to ET, The civic body on Monday allowed reopening of shopping malls from Wednesday and set strict guidelines for the staffers and vistors at the facilities.
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) stated that only those without Covid symptoms would be allowed entry to these facilities. Spitting will be strictly prohibited, while senior citizens and the unwell will be allowed in only for medical-related activities or procurement of medicines. Social distancing should be followed at shops, open spaces and on the escalators, PMC officials stated.
While cinema halls will remain closed in malls, food courts can offer takeaways. Play zones and game arcades for children will also remain closed.
Pune civic body sets norms for malls to reopen tomorrow after four months Operators and managers of these shopping centers should avoid deputing pregnant women and aged staffers, the orders state, adding that such employees could avail of work from home. Publicity material about Covid-19 awareness should be put up on mall buildings. Crowding should be avoided in the parking slots and parking valets must wear hand gloves and face masks.
For the first two or three weeks, malls are likely to wear a deserted look as nearly 50% of retail stores and many food and beverage outlets are likely to remain closed due to an ongoing dispute over rent.
Another downside for restaurants and food joints is the restriction on dine-in services, which they say is a major draw for mall visitors.
A mall owner told that the disagreement stemmed over rent for the past five months — some malls have waived off a part of the rent, while others have not. The source said retailers have refused to open unless they are given a 100% waiver.
The rent system in malls for food and beverage outlets works on a minimum-guaranteed rent and revenue share basis.
The food outlets also need to pay the mall management common area maintenance charges, which continued despite no revenue during the lockdown.