Maharastra is reportedly all set to open dine-in restaurants, bars and eateries from the first week of October. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray is said to have given the clearance at his meeting with the industry on Monday.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.
"The state government has prepared guidelines for starting restaurants and sent them to the concerned authorities. After they are finalised, a decision will be taken regarding the opening of restaurants, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said during a discussion with the representatives of restaurant businesses and associations in the state," CMO Maharashtra had earlier tweeted in Marathi.
According to a report by Times of India, the reopening will benefit over 60 lakh direct employees and 1.8 crore indirect employees in the hospitality sector, which is one of the worst-hit by the pandemic.
Valsa R Nair Singh, principal secretary, tourism department, said that they have been allowed to reopen restaurants from the first week of October, according to a report by Hindustan Times. The SOP, however, is yet to be finaised.
Sources told CNBC TV18 that initially, restaurants may be allowed to start with 50 percent capacity.
Sherry Bhatia, the president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) welcomed the move and said that Thackeray has, additionally, "also agreed to favourably consider HRAWI’s petition for the waiver of excise license fees for a period of 6 months, the duration for which establishments were required to be kept shut".
"Also, the deadline for deferment of payments towards the first installment of the Excise License fee has been extended to 30th September which will bring restaurateurs big relief," Bhatia said in a statement.
"In our meeting, the CM was sympathetic towards the restaurant players for not being allowed to operate for over six months. He has indicated that his Government will mostly allow the reopening of restaurants but he has stressed on restaurants’ responsibility towards their customers’ health and safety after they reopen for business," HRAWI's senior vice president, Pradeep Shetty said.
Centre had, in its guidelines for Unlock 4.0, left it on states to decide whether restaurants and dine-in services can be opened depending on the pandemic situation.