National

Maharashtra hotels, lodges to open with limited guests

MUMBAI, JUL 6 (IANS) | Publish Date: 7/6/2020 1:27:11 PM IST

Nearly four months after the lockdown, the Maharashtra government on Monday permitted all hotels, lodges, guest-houses, resorts, and others providing accommodation services to welcome guests again from Wednesday, but operating at only 33% capacity.

While malls have not been allowed to restart since some are being used partially (33%) as quarantine centres, the government has permitted the local authorities to utilise even the balance (67%) for isolation purposes if required.

The development came a day after top representatives of the hotel industry called on Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and discussed ways and means to restart the crucial sector which contributed 10% to the national GDP and accounts for 12.50% of the employment in the country.

#MissionBeginAgain Phase V will start from July 8 (Wednesday) outside specified Covid-19 containment zones all over the state, including all municipal jurisdictions of Mumbai Metropolitan Region, Pune Metropolitan Region, and Solapur, Aurangabad, Nashik, Malegaon, Dhule, Jalgaon, Akola, Amravati and Nagpur.

Incidentally, a majority of these like Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Aurangabad, Nashik, Jalgaon, Akola have reported the highest number of Covid deaths and cases.

Hotels will now be required to maintain physical distancing among staff/guests with markings for queues and suitably configure seating arrangements, restrict the number of people in elevators with compulsory thermal screening at entrances to restrict the entry of any symptomatic persons.

Reception spaces must have a glass shield, sanitisers to be made freely available all over the hotel, the management must implement ‘contact-less’ procedures like QR codes, online forms, digital payments, etc for check-in/check-out, placing orders, etc.

Air conditioning will have to be maintained at 24-30 degrees with 40-70% humidity range with adequate cross-ventilation and maximum fresh air intake.

For all those asymptomatic guests permitted, wearing of face mask is compulsory always within the hotel premises, along with installation of Aarogya Setu app, full details of their travel history, medical condition, and minimise use of housekeeping services.

While swimming pools, gyms, gaming arcades, children’s areas will remain closed, meeting halls with 33% capacity or maximum 15 persons shall be allowed.

The government has also mandated other strict measures for cleaning, sanitisation and disinfecting the hotel premises and rooms, and the protocols to be followed in case a guest falls ill or any suspect/confirmed Covid-19 case is located on the premises.

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