Updated: July 7, 2020 2:41:22 am
In a major fillip to the hospitality sector in the state, hotels have been allowed to reopen from July 8 with a 33 per cent cap on number of guests. Restaurants inside hotels too will be allowed to reopen but allowed to serve only hotel guests. The government is yet to take a decision on allowing the opening of standalone restaurants across the state.
The Maharashtra government on Monday issued an amendment to its May 31 Mission Begin Again order to include hotels that would now be allowed to operate. The order listed “hotels and other entities providing accommodation services including lodges, guesthouses etc., outside containment zones, with restricted entry. These establishments will operate at 33 per cent capacity and on conditions specified”.
As per the directives, there should be thermal scanning of guests and reception counters should have protective glass. Pedal-operated sanitiser dispensers should be available across the hotel premises.
It also states that hotels must adopt contactless processes like QR code, online forms and digital payments for check-in, check-out. Hotels will also have to regulate the AC temperature at 24-30 degree Celsius and maintain humidity at 40-70 per cent.
Hotels can allow only asymptomatic people who need to wear masks at all times within the premises. Arogya Setu has been made compulsory for check-in.
Hotels have also been asked to rearrange seating, use e-menus and paper napkins. While in-house restaurants can be accessed only by resident guests, hotels have been asked to encourage room service. Swimming pools, gymnasiums and gaming arcades will continue to remain shut. Large gatherings and congregations will also be prohibited. However, meeting halls will be allowed to operate at 33 per cent capacity or a maximum of 15 participants.
Every room will be sanitised after a guest vacates and left unoccupied for 24 hours.
The decision to allow hotels to reopen comes after a meeting that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had with a delegation of hotel and restaurant owners on Sunday. Maharashtra annually receives around 11.91 crore domestic tourists and 50 lakh foreign tourists as per the Indian Tourism Statistic 2019. The hospitality and tourism sector accounts for close to 13 per cent of employment. There are a total 10,500 hotels in the organised hospitality sector in Maharashtra.
“We are sure that we will be allowed to operate with additional capacity in the near future. There are approximately 10,500 hotels in the state and the decision to allow them to reopen will bring a big respite to the hotel owners whose businesses have remained shut for the past four months,” said Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, president, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India.
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