Diners at Saiprasad Hotel, Bandra
Diners at Saiprasad Hotel, Bandra
BL Soni

Not with standing the rising COVID-19 cases in the state, the Maharashtra Government recently unveiled the Unlock 5.0 guidelines under Mission Begin Again.

It extended the lockdown in the state till Oct 31, however, eased restrictions on some sectors as part of its plan to open the state in a phase-wise manner.

Hotels, food courts, restaurants and bars are being allowed to operate from Monday with 50% capacity.

As restaurants in the city opened after almost six months, Mumbaikars stepped out for dining.

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Meanwhile, the state excise department on Monday stated that they do not have any authority on the timings of the bars and it is the subject of the State Disaster Management Authority (SDMA).

“The decision of timings is decided by the empowered officer of the authority based on the prevailing Covid-19 condition in a particular area,” said a senior excise officer. When asked over confusion of bar owners over state excise’s nod on the timings, he said that they have issued a clarification.

“We issued clarification saying that bars can open and operate as per the timings decided by each empowered officer of disaster management. The competent authority will be BMC in the city and collector at other places.”

Tourism department’s principal secretary Valsa Nair Singh told FPJ that the timings of closer for all restaurants and bars is 10pm. "For all restaurants including bars, the timings are 8am to 10pm," she said.

Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope on Sunday said the COVID-19 recovery rate in the state has improved and the fatality rate dropped due to changing protocol in treatment

On Mumbai being a COVID hotspot, he said maintaining social distancing is difficult in the city as it is overcrowded.

"Now the frequency of local trains in Mumbai has increased and restaurants are opening. It is difficult to follow social distancing as the city is overcrowded. But people have to follow the norms and protect themselves from the virus as health is precious," he said.

Maharashtra recorded 13,702 fresh COVID-19 cases on Sunday, which pushed the state's infection tally to 14,43,409, the health department said.

The death toll in the state rose to 38,084 with 326 more fatalities, it said.

Apart from restaurants, industrial and manufacturing units of non-essential items in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region are now allowed to operate. The frequency of local trains in the region has been increased and dabbawalas are now allowed to travel in local trains.

All intra-state trains and local trains in Pune are allowed to resume subject to protocols.

Educational institutions, international air travel, metro services, cinema halls will remain closed, while large congregations will not be allowed.

(With inputs from PTI)

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