Unlock 5.0: Worried restaurant owners seek MBMC nod to stay open till 11 pm

The Mira Bhayandar Hotel Association (MBHA) has requested the Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) to allow restaurants and bars to remain open till 11 pm during Unlock-5.

A delegation of MBHA office bearers led by president-Madhukar Shetty and Durga Salian met civic chief- Dr. Vijay Rathod and Mayor- Jyotsna Hasnale on Tuesday urging them to extend the work timing of hotels and restaurants from the existing 7 pm to 11 pm.

The state government has extended the lockdown till October 31 but has permitted restaurants, bars and eateries to open with 50% capacity, as part of its 'Mission Begin Again' guidelines to gradually ease the lockdown guidelines in October. After a six-month-long lockdown, the hospitality industry was allowed to operate from 5 October, however with trimmed working hours limited to 7 pm.

“There are around 200 restaurants in the twin-city, however only 20% establishments have so far resumed operations. While some were sprucing up their premises, most owners were busy resolving manpower and logistics issues. In response to our pleas, the civic administration has assured to issue a fresh Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). While people prefer dining out after 8 pm, we have also promised to follow all guidelines to contain the spread of the virus.” said Mohan Shetty.

“Apart from screening of customers, frequent sanitisations and maintaining good hygiene, all hoteliers have resolved to ensure that physical distancing is maintained. All this will not only help contain the virus, but will also be key in regaining the trust of the customers.” said Santosh Puthran.

"The 6-month lockdown has wrecked the lives of people who are dependent on this industry. We are thankful to the government for allowing sit-ins but the timing restriction will be a roadblock.” said Chandra Poojary.

On the first day, only a lukewarm comeback because fewer customers were willing to dine in. The government has issued general guidelines for all districts, but closing time or any additional restriction can be put by civic authorities considering the COVID cases at local level, sources said.

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