Mumbai

Maharashtra govt. gives nod to reopen restaurants in October

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday agreed in-principle to reopen restaurants in the State in the first week of October.

In an interaction with representatives of associations of restaurateurs from Mumbai, Pune, Aurangabad and Nagpur via videoconferencing, Mr. Thackeray said all restaurants will be initially allowed to operate at 50% capacity and they will have to follow the standard operating procedures (SOP).

Mr. Thackeray said, “Strict following of the SOP once finalised, and maintaining physical distancing, sanitation and safety is the formula to reopen restaurants.” He said the government is aware of the financial troubles faced by the industry and its demands for waiving various fees.

Shivanand Shetty, president, Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association, said, “We are happy with the decision of reopening restaurants from the first week of October. On the SOPs, the government has listed them and sought our suggestions. Safety of our customers is of prime importance and we will ensure that the SOPs are followed. The government is working on our demands to waive the license fee.”

Sherry Bhatia, president, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India, said the government has brought the industry relief by extending the deadline for payment of the first instalment of the Excise License fee to September 30.

Sitaram Kunte, Additional Chief Secretary (Home), said the SOPs will soon be made available to hotel owners’ associations in the State.

Chief Secretary tests positive

Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar is in home isolation after testing positive for COVID-19.

He is the fourth senior bureaucrat who has tested positive in the past week. Four Cabinet ministers from the Maha Vikas Aghadi government have also tested positive in the past one week.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2020 12:36:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/maharashtra-govt-gives-nod-to-reopen-restaurants-in-october/article32719544.ece

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