Punjab malls reopen to low footfall

Updated on Jun 08, 2020 11:39 PM IST

Cinemas, gaming zones remain shut, eateries open only for takeaways

Visitors at a shopping mall in Amritsar on Monday.(Sameer Sehgal/HT)
Visitors at a shopping mall in Amritsar on Monday.(Sameer Sehgal/HT)
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana | ByHT Correspondents, Ludhiana/mohali/amritsar

Shopping malls in Punjab reopened on Monday after over two months to a low footfall of visitors, with nearly half of the shops located inside the complexes remaining closed.

Also, the cinemas and gaming points stayed shut while eateries opened only for takeaways as dine-ins have not been allowed by the government.

Security staff was deputed at the entry points of the malls for screening the visitors. Passes were issued at some places for restricting the gatherings inside. The visitors were not allowed to enter the malls unless they downloaded the COVA app in their mobile phones.

At Pavilion Mall, Ludhiana, the security staff issued 97 passes by the afternoon. Also, passes were also being issued at the entrance of MBD Mall to keep a check on the number of visitors at a given time. Staff members of some stores said they were hopeful that the situation will come back to normal in the coming days.

Three major malls in Amritsar — The Mall of Amritsar, Trillium and Celebration — also recorded a low footfall. Extra staff was deployed to ensure social distancing there.

At VR Punjab Mall in Kharar, Mohali, 50% of the shops were closed on Monday. However, people were seen visiting grocery shops in the malls. Around 2,500 people visited the mall.

Bestech Mall, Sector 66, in Mohali received around 100 visitors only.

HOTELS DRAW A BLANK ON DAY 1

Hotels across the state wore a deserted look on Monday as the staff kept on waiting for customers throughout the day.

In Ludhiana, luxury hotels like Park Plaza, Hyatt Regency, Radisson Blu stayed shut. Many of the mid-segment hotels that opened did not receive a single customer till evening. Amarjit Singh, owner of Hotel Green, said, “The restriction on inter-state movement is affecting our business.”

Amarvir Singh, president, Ludhiana Hotel and Restaurants Association, said, “The situation will not become normal till trains start running and inter-state movement is allowed. All 125 hotels that opened in Ludhiana did not receive any customer till evening.”

In Amritsar, major hotels and restaurants remained closed. Surinder Singh of the Amritsar Hotels Association said they decided not to open their outlets as Covid-19 cases in the city are on the rise.

In Mohali too, most of the hotels that reopened did not receive any customer.

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