Restaurants in Maharashtra are likely to resume their operations from the first week of October as the state government has assured hoteliers during their meeting with chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday of receiving the requisite permissions.
The government has prepared a Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) for the restaurants, which is expected to be finalised in the next few days.
According to the officials, the state government is preparing a draft SOP in consultation with various associations representing hotels and restaurants and it is expected to be finalised soon.
“They have been allowed to reopen restaurants from the first week of October. The SOP is yet to be finalized,” said Valsa R Nair Singh, principal secretary, tourism department.
“Finally Mumbai city is opening for dine-in. We are elated with this announcement. After months of staying patient, we see a ray of sunlight and are hoping that once again the hospitality industry sees immense love. Needless to say, the guests trust will be at the center of all business activities. We can’t wait to kickstart operations,” shared Syesha Kapoor, Associate Director, Silver Beach Hospitality with a sigh of relief as restaurants were closed for almost seven months in the state.
According to release, restaurants are expected to be asked to maintain a distance of 6 feet between two tables and follow personal hygiene protocols.
“The decision will be taken once the SOP is finalised mutually. We are not against opening up activities, but in the wake of the rising number of cases, we are treading very cautiously. The restrictions have been imposed in the public interest despite huge losses of revenue to the state exchequer. It will be the responsibility of the restaurant and hotel operators to ensure safety of the customers and staff members in the wake of the pandemic,” said chief minister Uddhav Thackeray in a statement issued by his office.
Adding to the same Rahul Bajaj, Director, and Conceptualizer at Out Of The Blue and Deli By The Blue, pointed, “We are thinking of installing small cubicles at Out Of The Blue and Deli By The Blue. The sanitization of the restaurant and kitchen premises will be continued to be practiced at regular intervals along with the set up of hand sanitizing stations. The water testing is also done periodically to check that it is not contaminated and is healthy for consumption. Plus, we were the first restaurant to have an ISO 9001 certification and have been following these rules for 15 years.”
“The whole sector is in deep crisis as the takeaway business is not at all profitable. We know that the next six months will be very difficult but then we needed to start somewhere,” said AHAR president Shivanand Shetty.