Pune restaurants flout norms amid surge in Covid cases
Restaurants have to run with 50% capacity, only double vaccinated customers can get entry. They have to display the number of people inside on a board
PUNE Earlier this month, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar had said that those who haven’t received their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine won’t be allowed inside government or private establishments like restaurants and malls in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad.
With Covid cases on the rise, several restaurants have been spotted not following the protocols laid down by the government or their associations.
“Restaurants have to run with 50% capacity and only the double vaccinated customers can get the entry after showing the verification of their second dose certificate,” said Sharan Shetty, president of Poona Hotelier Association.
“All the restaurants have to put a board outside mentioning the number of people sitting inside at that moment,” he added.
However, many restaurants in the city are yet to implement these norms.
“All the staff at our restaurants are double vaccinated but it is not always possible to ask for the vaccination certificate from the customers due to the rush,” said the manager of a restaurant in Aundh.
Other than the sanitisation of the tables and mandatory use of sanitiser and mask at the entry point, no other Covid-19 appropriate norms are being carried out. Boards with the present number of visitors inside the restaurants were also not spotted.
Unlike the restaurants and eateries in the city, some malls have been particular about the Covid-19 guidelines while few were found lax in implementing the government order. Many malls in the city have mandated double vaccination certificates at the entry gate.
“Besides checking the vaccination certificates and ID of the person, we are also keeping track of the crowd to maintain the 50 per cent capacity,” said security personnel at the Westend Mall, Aundh.
However, no record of the present visitors inside the mall is being maintained.
Rajneesh Mahajan, director of Shopping Centre Association of India (SCAI), said, “Malls have the permission till 10pm due to night curfew. Entry is given to double vaccinated customer after verifying his/her second dose certificate along with his Id. This mandate is followed since October 2021.”
All the staff and owners of the shops are double vaccinated, Mahajan told.
Since the Covid-19 cases have spiked in the city, the restaurants and malls have observed a decreased footfall. “We have seen a considerable drop in sales and footfalls during the first 10 days of 2022,” said Virendra Thakur, Centre Director, Westend Mall.
On January 15, Pune district reported 10,179 new Covid-19 cases and one death. The progressive count stands at 1.24 million out of which 1.17 million have recovered, 20,236 deaths and 49,917 are active cases.