The Bangladesh Bank has instructed banks to revert to normal banking operations from Sunday while maintaining social distancing measures and following health guidelines.
As per the instruction, all branches of all banks will have to reopen for transactions from 10am to 4pm, and bankers will have to stay at the bank premises till 6pm to complete official tasks, an official of the central bank told The Business Standard.
The Bangladesh Bank also suggested that branches operating in medium and high risk areas – as declared by the health department or administration concerned – be open for transactions from 10am to 2.30pm, and bankers stay at banks till 4pm.
The central bank suggested that banks should provide transportation facilities to their employees who live in areas where public transportation options are limited.
Banks have been directed to keep ill and pregnant employees, and those with health risks away from workplaces, read the circular.
From March 29, banks have been providing services on a limited scale to keep economic activities running during the general holidays that started from March 26 to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The government recently declared that the general holidays will end from May 31 (Sunday).
The central bank has asked banks to follow the health department's guidelines which were issued on May 13.
As per the guidelines, banks and financial institutions have been asked to procure face masks and disinfectants before reopening. Besides, the banks will also have to plan for the crisis period and designate an area for the disposal of infectious material.
Every working day, banks will have to document health-related information of their employees, and if any employee falls ill, banks will have to ensure that the person gets treatment.
Banks will have to install a thermal scanner at the entry point of branches to check for temperature. They have been asked to ensure fresh air circulation as well.
Public areas such as lobbies, queues, counters, pen counters, ATMs, and sitting arrangements will have to be clean and safe to curb the spread of the coronavirus infection.
Banks will have to ensure at least one meter distance between people lining up to use ATM booths, and manage the number of customers in each branch. Everyone must to wear a mask to enter any branch of a bank.