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Coronavirus | National Restaurants Association issues advisory to close operations from today

Tourists being given hand sanitiser before entering a hotel in Udhagamandalam.

Tourists being given hand sanitiser before entering a hotel in Udhagamandalam.   | Photo Credit: M. Sathyamoorthy

This advisory is voluntary in nature and it is up to the individual restaurant owners to take a decision

Now it will be difficult to have food outside home as the National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI) has advised its member restaurants across the country to shut down from March 18 to 31 in view of the serious health risk posed by COVID-19 to lakhs of employees and millions of customers.

This advisory is voluntary in nature and it is up to the individual restaurant owners to take a decision in this regard. The NRAI has a membership of over five lakh restaurants across India.

Read: COVID-19 fear: hotel industry bears the brunt

The hardest hit will be people who have to eat out every day.

“We at the NRAI have been closely following what has been happening with the Coronavirus outbreak. We find ourselves today in an unprecedented situation where we are compelled to make some difficult decisions which have massive financial implications on our businesses but we are doing this in the larger benefit for our teams, our guests and our communities,” the association said in a statement.

“We can’t forget that most of our employees use public transport to commute and they run a huge risk of getting infected and further becoming carriers of the deadly virus. Hence, in order to avoid any such risk; we advise all our members to shut down their operations and help curtail the spread of the deadly virus.”

Interactive map of confirmed coronavirus cases in India

“We are also trying our best to ensure the well-being of our employees while they remain confined to their homes. It is well-known that food service industry works on a fairly high proportion of fixed operating costs and therefore, this decision to shut down is extremely hard on us,” it added.

Also read: 51 private labs will soon be allowed to conduct tests

The trade body would work with all stakeholders in the ecosystem — from landlords to various departments of the government, banks and financial institutions — and seek their support in mitigating losses as far as possible.

“This is an extraordinary situation and beyond our control and we expect support such as converting fixed rentals to variable revenue share, allowing input tax credit on GST, moratorium on loan repayment, waiver of interest, reduction on energy costs, deferred payment of licence fee and taxes will go a long way in curtailing our astronomical losses,” the NRAI said.

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Printable version | Jul 10, 2020 3:18:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/covid-19-national-restaurants-association-issues-advisory-to-close-operations-from-today/article31096929.ece

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