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Mumbai

Updated on: Monday, December 27, 2021, 08:52 PM IST

Omicron scare in Mumbai: Are restaurants allowed to remain open after 9 pm? Here's what BMC chief IS Chahal has to say

Restaurant (Representative Pic) | Pixabay

Restaurant (Representative Pic) | Pixabay

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While the year 2021 is about to end in handful of days, the spirit of the celebrations across Mumbai seem to have dimmed a bit due to the new restrictions imposed by the government Maharashtra in a bid to curb the spread of Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Most of the eateries - restaurants, cafes, pubs, hotels have been once again facing the heat of all these measures. The instructions notified by the state in this regard may impact business.

BrihanMumbai Municipal Commissioner (BMC) Iqbal Singh Chahal in an interview with CNBC-TV18 responded to some of the common querries regarding the restrictions imposed in the city and state. IS Chahal said that curfew doesn't mean that everything will shut down post 9 pm.

He explained that restaurants don't have to shut at 9 pm. He stated, "Since last two, three months, restaurants remain open till 1:30am. Restaurants are functioning at 50 percent of their seating capacities.

According to the civic body chief, only crowding at public places has been restricted.

The government of Maharashtra has imposed a ban on assembly of more than five people at public places.

The BMC explaining said, "We have done only three things which you may call as restrictions or curbs. We have issued orders that between 9 pm and 6 am, there shall not be assembly of more than five people in a public place, nothing else."

He further explained, "So it is not a curfew when nothing moves, everything is shut down. Here 24/7, everything is moving. Except, we don't want crowding at public places like beaches or public gardens or places like Marine Drive, Carter Road, things like that. So, if we can avoid crowding, the fast spread of Omicron can be controlled."

In a humble request to the Hotel and Restaurant Association and the members the BMC chief requested not to flout these rules. Chahal said, "My only humble request to the Hotel and Restaurant Association and the members are please don't flout these rules. Don't pack up your restaurants; you have self-discipline and our common objective is only to control the spread of Omicron. If they stick to this 50 percent occupancy which is going on for the last two-three months, I am sure they will be doing great favour to all of us."

Further speaking on New Year parties, Chahal said that the restriction is only on parties, that too for one night, that is December 31st. He said, "Mumbai has thousands of restaurants and hotels. People tend to overcrowd. So only for one evening, we have said that there shall not be any parties in these hotels and restaurants where more than 12-13 million people are likely to come and that can lead to a very rapid spread of Omicron."

On preventive steps to stop the spread of Omicron, Chahal stated that the BMC has home quarantined over 30,000 people. He also said that all COVID samples are being sent for genome sequencing.

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Published on: Monday, December 27, 2021, 08:52 PM IST
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