Ahmedabad, Aug 10 (PTI) The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday issued a set of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to be followed when it resumes physical hearing of cases on August 17, making mask mandate and thermal screening mandatory for people in court premises in the wake of COVID-19.

Following a sharp drop in coronavirus cases, the HC is resuming its physical functioning from August 17 after a gap of around one-and-half years.

The HC had switched to hearing through video conferencing following the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent lockdown last year.

As per a circular issued on Tuesday by the HC registry, people entering the court premises must wear a face mask, sanitise their hands and undergo thermal screening at the designated entry points.

Persons displaying symptoms of flu, fever, cough will not be permitted to enter the court campus, it said.

Advocates, party-in-person and registered clerks above the age of 65 and those suffering from comorbidities are also advised to "refrain from appearing in the courts", the circular said.

It states that advocates or party-in-person (a person who intends to plead, appear and argue his or her own case before the HC) must leave the courtroom immediately after their matter is over.

While a visit to registry has been barred, the court canteen will only serve tea, coffee, packed food and drinking water, the circular added.