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Maharashtra lockdown: State govt likely to allow restaurants and bars to open from first week of October

Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray | Photo Credit: IANS

Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Office on Monday indicated a big relief for the restaurant industry in the state. The CMO hinted that restaurants will be allowed to restart operations soon in Maharashtra, as lockdown restrictions continue to be eased.

The CMO said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray told the restaurant business representatives in a meeting that the state government has finalised rules and regulations for restaurants and the concerned authorities have been tasked to take a decision on the same.

An official statement quoted CM Thackeray as saying during a meeting with representatives of restaurant business associations: “The state government has framed SOPs for reopening restaurants and those have been sent to the people concerned. A decision about reopening restaurants will be taken once these (SOPs) are finalised.”

Thackeray told the representatives that his government was taking steps cautiously in view of the coronavirus pandemic, adding the SOPs were not for putting restaurateurs in trouble.

“It will be important to take care of the health of chefs and other staffers in restaurants. They must wear masks, clean hands and ensure safety and cleanliness in restaurants,” the chief minister said.

Separate reports said the state government is expected to permit the resumption of restaurants, bars and eatery outlets from the first week of October, in what will be a major relief for the businesses in Maharashtra ahead of the festival season.

As of now, only home deliveries are allowed in the western state and the hospitality industry there continues to struggle to get back on its feet since the coronavirus-induced lockdown was first imposed in March.

The Times of India reported that some 4 lakh restaurants and other food businesses, including in Mumbai, have agreed to the state government’s condition of allowing only 50 per cent capacity so as to follow COVID-19 guidelines on ensuring social distancing.

Sherry Bhatia, president, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), thanked the Maharashtra CM for assuring them to allow restaurants to reopen in the first week of October, the report said.

It was also reported separately that the Maharashtra government may extend the lockdown by another month but more restrictions are likely to be withdrawn under ‘Mission Begin Again’.

Refered to TOI



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