Amid uncertainty, Pune restaurants welcome new unlocking rules

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Amid relief mingled with fear, the city’s restaurants and bars are preparing to stay open until 10 p.m. on Monday with 50 percent capacity.

“This is a very good decision and we hope the government will no longer impose restrictions on the hours. We are awaiting the decision on catering and hope that they will allow the banquet halls and wedding venues to operate at 50% of their capacity, ”said Kishore Sarpotdar, secretary of the Pune Restaurants and Hoteliers Association and president of Maharashtra. Catering Association.

Due to labor shortages and other uncertainties, only 30-35% of restaurants in the city are functioning, Sarpotdar added. “The government should also allow the reopening of educational institutions, as many PG accommodation, messes, restaurants and small restaurants are dependent on students,” he said.

Water points and restaurants in the city have borne the brunt of fluctuating schedules as the government has unlocked and re-locked in response to the Covid situation. On June 14, for example, bars and restaurants were allowed to stay open until 10 p.m. at 50% occupancy, but a fortnight later it was announced that they could only operate until 16 hours at the same capacity.

“It’s good to be back… but we got notified just a day before and I’m getting calls to find out what to do in that short period of time,” said Sanat Sarpotdar, owner of Poona Guest House.

One of the results of the uncertainty is that the restaurant workforce has returned to their hometowns in states such as West Bengal, Bihar, and Uttarakhand, and that’s a challenge for arrange tickets to bring them back and find them a place to stay. . Many have taken on another job that they cannot immediately give up. “We wonder what will happen after 15 to 20 days or during the Ganesh festival when the government might impose restrictions to control the movement of people,” he added.

The majority of crowds in restaurants and bars arrive late in the evening, so current rules provide greater opportunity for establishments shaken by the pandemic. Previously, they had sourced raw materials and brought in labor to meet the late-night crowds – only to have to shut their doors earlier.

Karan Kriplani of Hippie @ Heart said they welcome the new unlocking measures. “We felt that these fluctuations could occur and we prepared accordingly. We are ready to serve until 10 pm, ”he added.

After a long time, shopping malls will open until 8 p.m., but only for fully vaccinated people. At least 16.5 lakh people are fully immunized with both doses in Pune district.

Surjit Singh Rajpurohit, Board Member of India Shopping Mall Association and COO of Amonora Mall, welcomed the decision to open shopping malls. The endorsement to allow only double-vaccinated people, he said, would be difficult to enforce, but they would do their best to keep up with it. “Most of our customers are under 18, which will definitely reduce footfall,” he said.

On average, shopping malls like Amonora bring in 20 lakh visitors per month. The retail sector has suffered a loss of over Rs 10,000 crore in the last four months of closure. “We hope things will normalize before the holiday season,” he said.
With contributions from Partha Sarathi Biswas


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