Capital steps out gingerly, checks temp of new normal

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NEW DELHI: Wherever you go, they put a gun to your head. In malls, restaurants and places of worship, temperature checks are the new normal. Eyes sting with the smell of disinfectant in restaurants. Going to a mall feels like an airport security check.
It’s a brave new world, but not everyone was racing to embrace it. On Monday, the ones who ventured out found some things hadn’t changed: Temple bells pealed in the morning. But there was no jostling. At the

Jhandewalan temple

, Roop Nagar resident Ashish Sharma (52) was among a handful of devotees.
He said he couldn’t recall the last time he had entered without standing in a queue. Gurdwara Bangla Sahib has a sanitisation tunnel now. Touching the steps with your forehead is forbidden. Masks and sanitiser are part of the regulation. But Manjeet Singh took it all in his stride. “People have to slowly return to normal again,” he said.
“We can wear masks.” The same will to adjust showed at the few restaurants open for dining in. A senior bureaucrat made his way to Khan Market’s Blue Door Cafe. He said he had missed eating there. Sagar and his fianceé weren’t so lucky.
They had planned a date at their favourite Punjabi Bagh restaurant after almost two months of distancing, but found it was only doing takeaways. Given the difficulties of ensuring hygiene and distancing, most restaurants in major markets like GK-2,

Vasant Kunj

, and SDA are only open for takeaways. If restaurants have reduced seats, malls have gone further for physical distancing.
While some of the biggest on es like DLF Promenade,


, Pacific Mall and

Shoppers Stop

remained closed Monday, others have set up contactless sanitiser dispensers, sanitisation tunnels and body temperature scanners integrated with metal detectors. Nobody’s taking chances.

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