Mumbai restaurants, bars to open today after months of lockdown – Hindustan Times

Restaurant News

Restaurants, bars and cafes to reopen in Mumbai from Monday after over six months of lockdown restrictions because of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

The dine-in facility will be reopened at 50% capacity and will adhere to several restrictions by following guidelines of the Maharashtra government that were issued last week.

However, because of an acute crunch in staff several restaurant owners have asked their workers to return to Mumbai at the earliest and many are booking their flights in a bid to ensure employees could resume their duties at the earliest, said All India hotel and restaurant Association (AHAR).

AHAR said that out of the total 15,000 restaurants in Mumbai, not more than 4,000 would be able to reopen their dine-in option from Monday because of an acute shortage of workforce, as the employees had returned to their native places due to the lockdown restrictions that were enforced from the end of March in a bid to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

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On Saturday, the directorate of tourism department in Maharashtra allowed the reopening of restaurants, bars and cafes from Monday.

The extensive guidelines for restaurant owners and diners include operating procedures for pre-booking of seats, Covid-19 hygiene while serving food and beverages, seating arrangements within restaurant premises, table etiquette, hospitality norms, entry-exit and washroom hygiene, norms for regular ventillation of premises and disinfection routines, digital or disposable paper menus, and Covid-19 appropriate behaviour for employees.

Shivanand Shetty, president, AHAR, an umbrella body of restaurants and hotels in Mumbai, said, “We represent around 15,000 restaurants in Mumbai, and starting on Monday around 4,000 restaurants will reopen their dine-in facilities. Many restaurant owners are booking flight tickets for their workers to resume their work immediately. The workforce had gone back to their native places in Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh (UP) because of the lockdown restrictions.”

Restaurateurs are also planning to conduct training workshops, getting their staff undergo Covid-19 tests, conducting santisation drive of the premises and also preparing a revised menu.

The guidelines have also directed restaurants to keep a tab on detailed information of every customer, including contact details after they give their consent, in a bid to ramp up contract tracing in an aggressive manner. These logs will be maintained for the next 30 days. No buffet service and live entertainment will be allowed in restaurants, bars and cafes .

The guidelines added that customers should be screened at the entry point of a restaurant and an eatery for Covid-19 symptoms such as high temperature, cough and cold.

Asymptomatic customers will be allowed to enter restaurants and eateries. The use of face masks in restaurants is mandatory, except for during eating, and along with a strict compliance with social distancing norms.

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