Maharashtra allows eateries to stay open till midnight, eases norms for shops
The Maharashtra government on Tuesday said eateries and restaurants in the state can stay open till midnight while shops and other establishments are allowed to operate till 11pm in view of the festive season.
A government notification issued earlier in the day by Maharashtra chief secretary Sitaram Kunte said the restaurants and establishments are required to adhere to Covid-appropriate behaviour and ensure that service providers are vaccinated against the coronavirus disease.
“In the wake of the upcoming festival season, it is now felt that restrictions on time of functioning for various establishments like shops, restaurants, hotels etc. will lead to more crowding in the shorter duration in which they are currently allowed to function,” the order read.
Kunte, however, said in the order that the local district disaster management authority may restrict these timings if it feels it is necessary, but such a restriction can only be further eased with the consent of state disaster management authority.
At present, restaurants are allowed to operate between 7am and 10pm with 50% of their seating capacity.
On Monday, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government decided to reopen amusement parks across the state from October 22, even though restrictions on water rides will remain suspended.
The Maharashtra chief minister also asked the management of theatres and movie halls, which are scheduled to reopen from October 22, too, to conduct fire and structural safety checks before welcoming patrons.
“Restrictions are being gradually eased as the number of Covid cases is on the decline. Amusement parks, auditoriums, and theatres will be opened from October 22. There has been a constant demand to extend the timing of the restaurants and shops. Guidelines for extending the hours of restaurants and shops across the state will be out soon. Amusement parks can be operated except water rides,” the statement said on Monday.
A delegation of members of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India, the umbrella body of premium restaurants and star-rated hotels, recently urged the Maharashtra government to revert the time, till which restaurants and bars can stay open, to their original deadline of 1.30am, citing economic loss. The delegates assured the government of vaccinating the staff at such eateries.