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Maharashtra eases lockdown curbs further: Hotels to open with 33% staff from 8 July

Monday, July 6, 2020, 18:15 Hrs  [IST]
HBI Staff | Hyderabad

According to Mint, under the fifth phase of Mission Begin Again plan of Maharashtra government amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, the state government on Monday issued fresh guidelines for easing lockdown restrictions further.

Under the new orders, hotels and other entities providing accommodation services like lodges and guest houses outside containment zones to operate from 8 July at 33% of their capacity. These also include guest houses outside the containment zones with restricted entry.

However, the government also stated that these entities if being used for quarantine facilities will continue to be used so unless decided otherwise by district or municipal administration.

"Similarly, some part/ whole of the balance unused capacity (67%) can also be used for quarantine facility by district/municipal administration," the government said in a statement.

The permission has been granted on conditions of these entities adhering to social distancing norms and other protocols.

However, the orders also stated that shopping malls are still not allowed to open in the state in the wake of the decisions taken in order to contain the spread of the virus.

On Sunday, chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said plans are afoot in Maharashtra to allow hotels and restaurants to start business soon. He added that in the backdrop of covid-19, a mechanism is being worked out to revive the industry.

Thackeray urged the hotel industry not to layoff its staff assuring the hotels that even the trade unions will not make unreasonable demands in this time of crisis.

On the other hand, the state government has extended the lockdown at state's Aurangabad district with a slew of restrictions. The lockdown will take place from10 -18 July 10 to curb the rising cases of coronavirus, officials said. Only essential services will be allowed to operate during this period, they said.

“The re-opening of hotels in the State was a much needed move and we thank the Government for it. Hotels have been presently allowed to operate at 33 per cent capacity on condition of additional arrangements that are meant to ensure customer safety. We are sure that we will be allowed to operate with additional capacity in the very near future. There are approximately 10,500 hotels in the State and the decision to allow them to re-open will bring a big respite to the hotel owners whose businesses have remained shut for the past 4 months with Zero revenue. Hotels and restaurants are the Corona Warriors of the pandemic and the HRAWI has been at the forefront for advocating the re-opening of the industry. The Association applauds its members’ efforts in putting together a most comprehensive SOP for hotels and restaurants on safety guidelines to follow after re-opening. In our latest meeting with the Hon. CM and Tourism Minister, they took note of the launch of COVID-19 FoSTaC free training programme organized by the Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) along with the HRAWI which further convinced the Government about our commitment towards guest safety. The industry wishes to assure guests that they are in safe hands and invites them to experience the warm Indian hospitality once again,” says Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, President, HRAWI.

On 29 June, Maharashtra government extended lockdown from 30 June to 31 July after chief minister Uddhav Thackeray urged caution amid the spurt in novel coronavirus cases and deaths in the state.

In the guidelines issued under 'Mission Begin Again' for easing of restrictions, and phase-wise opening, the state government asked officials to enforce measures and necessary restrictions during the extended lockdown to contain the spread of the virus.

As previously announced, the extension of lockdown will contain number of relaxations depending on the orders issued by the state authorities from time to time.

Intra-district bus service will be allowed with maximum 50% capacity per bus with physical distancing and sanitation measures, it added. To know what activities are allowed in the state and what are not, click here.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra on Sunday reported 6,555 new covid-19 cases, taking the state's tally to 2,06,619. Active cases have now reached 86,040 while 1,11,740 patients have recovered from the highly contagious disease so far.

The death toll in the state has reached 4,899 after 69 more virus-related fatalities were reported in the state in a single day.

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