Traders heave a sigh of relief after Karnataka Government lifts weekend curfew

Traders in Bengaluru hope the business will pick up with the removal of weekend curfew.

Traders in Bengaluru hope the business will pick up with the removal of weekend curfew.

The government’s decision to remove weekend curfew has come as a huge relief to traders and those in the hospitality sector. While night curfew between 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. will continue to be in effect, store owners and proprietors of restaurants are hoping that they will receive patrons during the weekend. However, concerns remain over the move among a section of experts and bureaucrats, sources said.

Mohammed Nazim, vice-president, Bangalore Commercial Association, welcomed the government decision and said this only increased the responsibility of traders to ensure that COVID-19 appropriate behaviour is being followed. “People, even those working from home, are free only during weekends. A weekend curfew essentially killed all business. Despite lifting the curfew it will take a week for people to come out and shop,” he said.

Another senior trade activist Sajjan Raj Mehta from Chickpet said the withdrawal of the weekend curfew came as a big relief as traders have been suffering insurmountable losses for the past two years. Malls will also be open for the weekend.

The hospitality industry had two demands - withdrawal of weekend curfew and extension of night curfew deadline to 11 p.m. Though the government has not extended the deadline, the industry seems content over being able to do business during weekends. Ajay Nagarajan, CEO, Windmills Pub, expressed hope that in a few weeks’ time the government will lift the 50% occupancy restriction as well.

A section of bureaucrats, however, are not very happy with the rollback of restrictions, sources said. “Given that the city and State are recording new highs during the third wave, and experts projecting that we have not reached the peak, weekend curfew should have remained in force for another two weeks or till we started seeing a downward slide,” said a senior civic official. He pointed out that Tamil Nadu had imposed weekend curfew on Friday, with far fewer cases being reported in the State.

However, hospitalisation levels - less than 5% in the State - and not the number of cases being reported was the criteria used to withdraw the weekend curfew, sources said.

Revenue Minister R. Ashok who announced the decision said that if hospitalisations increased in the coming week, the government may reimpose restrictions.

Bannerghatta Biological Park

With the State Government withdrawing weekend curfew, Bannerghatta Biological Park announced that it will remain open to visitors all days of the week barring Tuesdays.

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Printable version | May 18, 2022 7:41:38 am |