Kerala

COVID curbs cut a swathe through sectors

The Kochi City police enforcing COVID-19 protocol at Broadway on Thursday.  

The restrictions imposed to contain the second wave of COVID-19 in the State have hit hotels, travel trade, event management companies, bus operators, and the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation that have been limping back to normality post lockdown.

The travel trade, expecting a good footfall during summer months, is the worst hit.

“Inquiries have stopped reaching reservation desks of hotels and resorts. Almost all hotels and resorts are deserted now. The limiting of stay of tourists to seven days and insistence on RT-PCR tests by over a dozen States for those returning from the State have played spoilsport,” says former president of the Association of Tourism Trade Organisations, India, Anish Kumar P.K.

Similarly, the directive to close down shops and restaurants by 9 p.m. and encourage packaged food and home delivery has come in for flak. The Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association (KHRA) is up in arms against the curbs. “It was caused due to the flouting of the COVID-19 guidelines during elections by politicians,” the KHRA said, urging the government to allow them to keep open the units till 11 p.m.

“The restrictions have come at a time when business has been picking up. Small units are the worst hit. There is a 60% dip in business during daytime due to Ramzan fasting. We make up the loss by keeping the units open at night,” says KHRA general secretary G. Jaypal.

Weddings

Those who have fixed weddings and receptions are confused as only 100 people will be allowed for indoor functions and 200 for outdoor functions and over serving of food for invitees.

Private bus operators and the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation are aghast at the decision to carry passengers only in allotted seats. “Already, the police and Motor Vehicles Department officials have started checking. The revenue that has been picking from the fleet up will fall drastically,” a KSRTC official said.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 7:26:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/covid-curbs-cut-a-swathe-through-sectors/article34330174.ece

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