The Maharashtra government on September 28 said it would allow restaurants, bars and eateries to reopen for in-house dining, for the first time since March when the nationwide lockdown was imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19.
So far, restaurants in the state had been allowed to reopen only the takeaway and home. Now, dine-in could be allowed from the first week of October, news reports suggest.
The Chief Minister’s Office tweeted in Marathi explaining that the state government has prepared guidelines for reopening restaurants and has sent them to the concerned authorities. “After they are finalised, a decision will be taken regarding the opening of restaurants,” Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray told the representatives of restaurant businesses and associations, according to the tweet.
It was reported earlier in September that the state government was planning to allow reopening of restaurants, bars and eateries amid growing demands from the ruling alliance and opposition parties.
Such establishments had been already allowed to reopen for in-housing dining in other cities including Delhi.
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Here’s what Delhi did, and what could be replicated in Mumbai:
Restaurants, hotels and clubs were allowed to open in the national capital from September 9 with strict regulations in place. These restrictions included 50 percent seating and no provision for standing customers.
Physical distancing and face masks were made mandatory, and staff and customers are screened for symptoms.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) has issued additional rules talking about how the premises should be sanitised regularly and that staff members must wear gloves and masks, and “maintain hygiene”.
Further, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has allowed open-air dining in restaurants, keeping in mind better ventilation. However, food will have to be cooked in enclosed kitchens.
The move to allow reopening restaurants for in-house dining comes at a time when Maharashtra has seen a fall in the number of COVID-19 cases being reported on a daily basis. While the state remains the worst-affected with over 13.5 lakh cases till date, the daily cases have fallen consistently over the last two weeks.Click here for Moneycontrol’s full coverage of the novel coronavirus pandemic