Malls, hotels, eateries to open in Chandigarh on June 8, with caution

Published on Jun 05, 2020 10:41 PM IST

SOPs issued; restaurants to utilise only 50% seating capacity; room service to be encouraged in hotels

Elante Mall wearing a deserted look in the Industrial Area, Phase 1, Chandigarh.(Keshav Singh/HT)
Elante Mall wearing a deserted look in the Industrial Area, Phase 1, Chandigarh.(Keshav Singh/HT)
By, Chandigarh

Paving the way for opening of hotels, restaurants and malls from June 8, after a gap of more than two months, the UT administration on Friday released the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for them to ensure social distancing and prevent the spread of coronavirus disease.

The administration also notified 500 fine on commercial establishments for violation of social distancing norms.

The SOPs are based on the central government’s guidelines issued on Thursday.

Even as hoteliers and restaurant owners welcomed the SOPs for the hospitality sector, they were cautious about future of the industry in the city.

Manmohan Kohli, chairman, Hotels and Restaurants Association, Chandigarh, said: “The SOPs have struck a right balance by making both the host hotel and visitor equally accountable for ensuring the guidelines are followed. We will be entering a new paradigm from June 8, because in hospitality industry the tradition is to pamper the visitor, but now we will also have to educate them.”

Hospitality industry has been one of the worst-hit sectors due to the lockdown in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some in the industry expect that while most hotels will become operational from June 8, not many restaurants are likely to open. “Even though the SOPs are conducive for opening both hotels and restaurants, but for restaurants, the night curfew timings and restrictions on serving liquor will act as big dampeners. Most customers come for dinner, but with night curfew starting from 9pm, it will be tough to attract them,” said Ankit Gupta, president, Chandigarh Hospitality Association.

UNCERTAINTY OVER ELANTE OUTLETS

Meanwhile, there is also uncertainty over opening of restaurants and shops at Elante Mall in the Industrial Area, Phase 1. The tenants have reportedly requested for revised rental terms and even rent waiver from the mall management before they could open their outlets.

Manish Goyal, director, Swagath, one of the restaurants in the mall, said: “We would like to open the restaurant. But we have requested for survival plan from the Elante management, given the tough situation we all are in because of the pandemic.”

A spokesperson of the mall said: “Elante will open its doors to public on June 8, as per notification issued by the administration. Elante, home to over 200 brands, will be open from 10am and operate till 8pm. We are absolutely thrilled to welcome all our patrons whilst ensuring social distancing norms are strictly implemented.”

The spokesperson said: “While we are confident that all our partners will smoothly resume operations, we also anticipate the reopening to be a gradual process as SOPs are understood and get adhered to 100%. Although permissions have been granted for opening up, some parts of the mall including multiplex and entertainment centres will start only upon receiving specific permissions from the administration. We hope this happens very soon.”

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