Amid the Coronavirus lockdown, the state government is preparing a final Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to reopen hotels and restaurants in Maharashtra.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has interacted with various associations of hotels and lodges and said the hotel industry played a crucial role in the tourism sector.
He also urged corporate sectors not to retrench their workers even if there is a wage cut.
“SoPs for reopening hotels and restaurants are being finalised. Once that is done, a decision on reopening hotels and restaurants will be taken soon,” Thackeray has said in an online meeting.
With certain restrictions, the hotel services would be allowed to reopen within a week. However, the hoteliers need to ensure hygiene, thermal screening of customers and its employees and social distance should be maintained, an official said.
Urging the hotel industry not to retrench workers as the ‘Mission Begin Again’ is underway, Thackeray said reopening would be done carefully with emphasis on health and safety.
“(Factors like) SoPs, regulation and self regulation, work force strength, health safety measures etc. are very much important,” he said.
During the virtual interaction, hoteliers suggested that water and electricity be provided at the rate which is applicable to other industries. Representatives of the hotel industry underlined the need to restart their establishments stating that the state government is losing revenue due to the extended shutdown.
The hotel and restaurant industry is losing over Rs six crore per day due to the lockdown.
The representatives also demanded waiver in the tax and permission to use terrace and open areas of the hotels and restaurants in order to maintain social distance while serving the customers.
Maharashtra Chief Secretary Sanjay Kumar said, “We cannot allow operation of 100 per cent hotels in one go. Therefore we are planning to reopen it in phases, considering all the necessary aspects.”