Hospitality industry seeks to ease restrictions as COVID-19 cases drop in Mumbai

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Like new every day covid-19 cases continue to drop, hospitality industry wants pre-pandemic hours restored in Mumbai.

In a letter to the two guardian ministers of the city and suburbs of Mumbai, Aslam Sheikh and Aaditya Thackeray respectively, the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of India (AHAR) – the industry’s top body – called for the restoration of the catering services in restaurants and bars for pre-covid hours, because the situation is under control. He drew their attention to other states that have done so and are returning to normal.

Currently, restrictions require hotels to close at 10 p.m.

Shivanand Shetty, Chairman of AHAR, said: “The industry is in dire straits with many restaurants and bars closed forever and others barely able to keep their shutters closed. As a responsible industry association, we continue to fully comply with the law of the land. We have already asked the state government to remove 50% of the existing FL-III license fee, but the operational schedule for restaurants and bars must be restored to pre-pandemic days not only for businesses to survive, but also for ancillary industries to make up for lost business and job opportunities and largely as a source of government revenue.

A few days ago, AHAR had also written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sharad Pawar seeking their support to bail out the industry.

Sukesh Shetty, General Secretary of AHAR, said: “Given our business model, the prevailing deadlines are further strangling the industry. We have always collaborated with the administration in their fight against the pandemic by respecting all their protocols and by proactively ensuring that all employees are vaccinated. Now that the situation is under control, we call for an easing of restrictions so that the industry can get back on track. We have been assured of a positive outcome within the next 3-4 days and we hope that the administration will support our industry in every way.

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