Shopping malls in Delhi will reopen from tomorrow after over two months of the coronavirus lockdown, days after the centre allowed malls, restaurants and places of worship to open as part of what it called "Unlock 1". From disinfection tunnels to social distancing everywhere from floors to escalators - this is how the new mall experience is going to be. There will be seating of two on a table for four at food courts and thermal scanning databases will store your photos, temperature and the time you visited the mall.
At Delhi's biggest mall Select Citywalk, there are social distancing markers at the entry point for those in queue. The next step is to use a sensor-based sanitiser dispenser and then one has to get into a DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) approved sanitisation tunnel which sprays disinfectant on the whole body for about 20 seconds. This is followed by appearing before machine-based thermal scanners.
As you are inside the mall, one will find the entire staff in masks, gloves and face shields. Shopkeepers on Sunday were busy sanitising all display shelves and storage areas in their stores.
There are special markings on all escalators for social distancing. There will have to be a gap of 3 steps between every two individuals on an escalator.
The number of people at the food court will be restricted as well.
"There will be only 30 per cent of the seating capacity in the food court. Earlier there used to be 450 people, now only 150-175 can be seated," Arjun Sharma, Chairman of Select City Group said.
On malls reopening, he added, "Select Citywalk employs 5,000 people directly. It will be a huge relief for them to have their livelihoods back."
At DLF Promenade mall in Vasant Kunj all visitors will have to stand in queues on social distancing markers. Before entering the mall, they will first be scanned with manual thermal scanners and will have to wipe their shoes on shoe sanitiser mats.
They will then enter and go through the security scanning process. They will be simultaneously scanned through mechanical thermal scanners that will also photograph them. A staff member will be able to see their photographs on a laptop along with their temperature. These will be stored in the mall's database.
Visitors will then have to sanitise themselves with sensor-based sanitiser dispensers.
Assistant Vice President and Centre Head of DLF Promenade Sidharth Natu told NDTV, "We have also installed vehicle disinfection chambers for all cars that will use the mall's car parking. We also have an isolation room for any staff member or visitor that may feel sick."
DLF Promenade employs 1,700 people.