The nationwide Coronavirus pandemic has left an indelible impact on our lives. Governments across the world imposed full or partial lockdown on people and encouraged them to stay at home. Citizens too have avoided going out to prevent the spread of the virus. However, the government is slowly removing restrictions in order to restore normalcy in the country. In a bid to ease out the Covid-19 curbs, the Maharashtra government will allow restaurants and bars in Mumbai to reopen starting 5th October 2020.
The announcement comes as part of phase 5 of the government's 'Unlock' plan. Maharashtra Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackeray, announced the reopening of over 4 lakh restaurants, bars and hotels in Maharashtra. There are approximately 1 lakh such restaurants in Mumbai alone. This marks a sigh of relief for the hardest hit hospitality industry, which gives employment to about 2.4 crore people and generates Rs. 18,000 crores in revenue.
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The eateries will be reopening after a gap of six months and will have to adhere to strict rules enlisted by authorities. Restaurants will be allowed to accommodate customers only in 50% of their premises. CCTVs are a must for every restaurant and entry will be allowed only to asymptomatic patients. Sanitisers, thermal scanners and hygiene checks will be mandatory. Appropriate measures must be in place to maintain social distancing such as distance between two tables. Further, a register of customers will be maintained in order to enable contact tracing.
The move brings a respite to restaurant-owners across the state of Maharashtra. The increase in expenditure on sanitation and hygiene will definitely go up keeping in mind the government's guidelines. The biggest challenge for restaurants would still be to attract customers to visit their establishments in these testing times.