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Restaurants in Maharashtra face staff shortage as they reopen after 6 months of lockdown

Under the Unlock 5.0 guidelines, CM Uddhav Thackeray-led cabinet permitted the restaurant and bar owners to resume operations from October 5, 2020, for the general public.

Restaurants in Maharashtra face staff shortage as they reopen after 6 months of lockdown
(Image used for representation)

Coronavirus cases in Maharashtra have been increasing significantly, and the government is taking the best measures to control the spread of the virus. CM Uddhav Thackeray-led cabinet recently announced a lockdown in the state until October 31, 2020, however, under the Unlock 5.0 guidelines, the state has permitted the restaurant and bar owners to resume operations for the general public. 

Guidelines and SOPs were released by the officials, both at the state and corporation levels, and the businesses have been asked to follow them strictly. Currently, the bars, eateries and restaurants will only be allowed to function at a 50 per cent seating capacity, and crowding near the premises will not be encouraged. Keeping this in mind, officials have been asked to follow reservations or promote takeaways or delivery.

Safety checks and precautionary measures have been put to place by the respective body in the government, and this permission from the government has been welcomed by the business owners across Maharashtra. Until date, only delivery and takeaway were allowed keeping the pandemic in mind, and the restaurants were last open for the public in March 2020. 

Sharing his thought about the permission and other concerns, Shivanand Shetty, President, AHAR (Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association) said, “We are overwhelmed by the support extended by our Customers who chose to step out and gave us a chance to serve them again after a long time. They were very supportive and patient as the SOP procedures were carried out to ensure not only their safety but that of our staff too."

However, reports state that not all restaurants or facilities will be able to resume operations, as several staff members have moved out of Mumbai, due to which businesses are facing manpower-related issues.

"As expected 30 – 35 per cent restaurants opened today with most of them with only 30 – 40 per cent staff, limited menus, reduced timings etc, but we are hopeful that in 15 days things would be back to normal. Restaurant owners ensured compliance of the SOPs in maintaining temperature checking, social distancing, wearing of masks, noting down customer contact details etc. We are thankful to the State Government for this day and look forward to more support to help us get back on track,” he added.

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