Coronavirus lockdown: What Indias office may look like from today

Starting today, India will slowly ease the lockdwon restriction. To control the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus, India extended the nationwide lockdown till May 3. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), in its revised guidelines, said IT and IT-enabled services (ITeS) companies can resume operations from their offices from Monday, with up to 50% workforce. Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha secretariats resume functioning today.

All the offices and factories need to follow certain guidelines amid lockdown. Here are the rules:

All workplaces must ensure adequate arrangements for temperature screening. Sanitizers must be provided in all offices functioning during this period.

For workers coming from outside, special transportation should be arranged by the office. Public transport must be avoided during this period. The office vehicles should be allowed to work only with 30-40% passenger capacity. Thermal screening is mandatory for the employees at the gate. Any vehicle or machinery entering the office premise should be disinfected.

Social distancing norms must be strictly maintained inside the office. There shall be a gap of one hour between the two shifts. All offices must sanitize the work places during that time. For manufacturing establishment, there should not be any overlap between two shifts. Even during the lunch break, the employees must ensure adequate social distancing.

Large meetings with 10 or more people amid the coronavirus lockdown are strictly prohibited. Employees must sit at least 6 feet away from each other while working. This distance must be maintained even during the meeting and training sessions.

Seniors citizens, especially those with co-morbid conditions are encouraged to work from home. Parents of children who are below the age of 5, should also use remote-working facility.

All the public and private organisations should encourage the employees to use Arogya Setu application. Arogya Setu is a mobile application designed to track COVID-19 outbreak in India.

The non-essential visitors are banned at office premises. Usage of tobacco, gutka are strictly prohibited at the workplace. More than four persons are not allowed in lifts.

The organisation must identify the nearby hospitals and clinics which are authorised to treat COVID-19 patients. A list of those hospitals must be available at the work place. Medical insurance is mandatory for each and every employee.

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