These instructions shall not apply to the offices and employees engaged in essential/emergency services and those directly engaged in taking measures to control the spread of COVID-19, the ministry said.
The Department of Financial Services (DFS) and the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) may issue similar instructions regarding financial institutions and public sector undertakings, it said.
The decision came after the Personnel Ministry on Tuesday asked all central government departments to take precautionary measures.
“Discourage, to the maximum extent, entry of visitors in the office complex. Routine issue of visitor/temporary passes should be suspended with immediate effect. Only those visitors who have proper permission of the officer who they want to meet should be allowed after being properly screened,” it had said.
All government departments were asked to install thermal scanners as feasible as well as mandatorily place hand sanitisers at the entrances of government buildings.
“Those found having flu-like symptoms may be advised to take proper treatment/quarantine etc,” the ministry had said.
It said meetings, as far as feasible, should be done through video conferencing.
All departments were asked to avoid non-essential official travel of its staff, undertake essential correspondence on official email and avoid sending files and documents to other offices, to the extent possible, and facilitate delivery and receipt of postal documents at the entry points of the office buildings as far as practicable.
“Close all gyms/recreation centres/creches located in government buildings. Ensure proper cleaning and frequent sanitization of the workplace, particularly of the frequently touched surfaces,” the ministry said.
The order advised the leave sanctioning authorities to sanction leave whenever any request is made for self-quarantine as a precautionary measure.
“Advise all employees who are at higher risk, i.e. older employees, pregnant employees and employees who have underlying medical conditions, to take extra precautions. The ministries/departments may take care not to expose such employees to any front-line work requiring direct contact with the public,” the ministry had said in a communique to all the ministries.