“The announcement of opening the mall in Mumbai was welcomed by all of us. However, as per today’s circular, for entering a mall both employees and customers need to have a final Vaccination Certificate,” shared Aji Nair, COO, F&B division at Mirah Hospitality by pointing that as we all know the vaccinations for ages below 45 started very late and those who have taken Covishield are still waiting for their turn for the second dose, which is available only after 84 days from the first dose. In such a situation neither the Customers nor the employees can enter a mall and we will not be able to operate our restaurants under these restrictions.
Restaurateurs were also not sure even how a mall can operate in such stringent regulations as the rules are applicable to their employees as well. "Looking forward to hear a more practical decision which will help the retailers and the mall," added one of the restaurateur.
Terming the rule too stringent, many malls in the metropolitan region of Mumbai have closed again. However, BMC Chief Iqbal Chahal on 13th August in a media interaction mentioned that staffs, employees with even one dose can work at malls, restaurants and other such establishment. But the state government’s order issued on 16th August notified that all employees including managers and housekeeping staff of malls malls must have completed 14 days after receiving both the doses, malls have decided to shut again.
If we look at numbers, Inorbit Malls in Malad operate close to 35 restaurants whereas, Infiniti Mall in Malad is home to more than 40 plus restaurants, cafes and bars. And, the story continues if we look at others malls in the area.
However, Malls in others parts of the state, including Pune, Nagpur and other cities are operational. Though, many restaurants in Pune have claimed that they have stopped delivery orders as per the new guidelines wherein the delivery rider also need to be fully vaccinated.
“Restaurants whose staff is not vaccinated properly are having problem with delivery and also to the brands that do not have any tie-up with aggregators and rely on their own delivery fleet,” pointed Ganesh Shetty, President, Pune Hoteliers and Restaurants Association.