The Hospitality industry has expressed disappointment that despite Mumbai is falling in level 2 status, they have still not been allowed to be open as usual. Therefore, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) have urged the Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray led Maharashtra government to reconsider its decision.
Sherry Bhatia, President, HRAWI said, "A new condition being proposed now that requires the numbers to reach 200 positive cases per day or below. To meet this condition under the given circumstances will be very difficult since the vaccination of 50 per cent of the population might take some time. In fact, even after the end of the first wave such levels had not been achieved with regularity. Thus such a condition will bring added uncertainty to the already beleaguered and battered hotel and restaurant industry that is looking for survival."
In Mumbai, the restaurant industry has been under a lockdown since March 2020 and was allowed to reopen briefly for a period of 4 to 5 months with several restrictions. Further, no relief in statutory charges has been provided to hotels and restaurants resulting in closure of almost 40 per cent of establishments in the State. The state has approximately 2,10,000 restaurants and 10,500 hotels.
"Restaurants and hotels follow all SOPs prescribed by the Union and state governments regularly. Hotels and restaurants are in fact one of the safest, in terms of COVID19 protocols as compared to any other industries. It may be noted that there was no known case or data of spread from restaurants in their period of operation. Under the circumstances, we request the Government to have due consideration and save the livelihoods of the millions of owners and employees engaged in this trade," stated Pradeep Shetty, Sr Vice President, HRAWI.