If it's any consolation to revellers, who are being forced to ring in the new year at 10.30pm on December 31 because of curfew constraints, it will be New Year in Thailand at that time.
Hotels and restaurants in Maharashtra have announced they will be celebrating New Year's eve in keeping with Thailand Standard Time (TST), to comply with the night curfew imposed by the state government in all the municipalities.
The Hotels and Restaurants Association of Western India (HRAWI) - a 69-year-old body - has issued a statement that this year pub's, restaurants and hotels will wind up New Year's eve celebrations an hour and a half before midnight, following Thailand Standard Time (TST), which is 1.5 hours ahead of Indian Standard Time. Thus, when it is 10.30 pm in India, it is midnight in Thailand.
Hoteliers and restaurant owners are confident that business will improve in the last week of December with or without the curfew. As a result, many member establishments of the association are also working towards aligning celebrations with those in Thailand and may even host virtual celebrations synchronised with them.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has imposed a curfew in Mumbai from 11pm and restaurants and pubs have been ordered to pull down their shutters by 11.30 pm, at the latest.
"Mumbaikars want celebrations and we will be providing it to them while ensuring all norms and safety measures are followed, which is why celebrations will be held earlier this year and the timing will be better as our patrons will be able to get home earlier and bring in the new year with their families," said Sherry Bhatia, president, HRAWI.
The hospitality sector has suffered immense losses in the lockdown and it has only been two months since they have been allowed to restart their operations in a limited manner. Hotels and restaurants across the state are still struggling to recover the losses incurred in the lockdown period.
"This year, we will be broadcasting the celebrations in Australia and Thailand on giant screens of our restaurants, as we have friends who run businesses there. We will also be providing offers on food and drinks on that day," said Jayant Malik, co-owner of a city restaurant.
Hotel owners have also confirmed that their business is on the verge of improvement.
"A lot of people have started to come to restaurants now, hence we are hopeful that by the end of this year, we will be able to recover the losses incurred," said the manager of a city pub.
"We have braved the storm of the pandemic and will now be welcoming Mumbaikars for the celebrations on December 31 with hope and optimism," said Pradeep Shetty, senior vice president, HRAWI.