Ready to open with hygiene and safety protocols, says malls and restaurant owners

Meenakshi Verma Ambwani New Delhi | Updated on May 31, 2020

File photo   -  K Pichumani

With the Ministry of Home Affairs giving its nod for malls to re-open their doors and restaurants to open their dine-in services from June 8, industry players said they are geared up to re-start operations while adhering to the hygiene and safety protocols.

Post MHA guidelines that allow restaurants and malls to operate in non-containment zones, the industry players will now be seeking further clarity from state governments.

Pushpa Bector, Executive Director, DLF Shopping Malls said, “We have been preparing ourselves for over the past two months and are geared up to open our malls. Right from the temperature checks at the entrance, 3-steps rollovers at escalators, permanent distance markers in the elevator, repeated sanitisation of common places including washrooms; trained staff and more, we are positive to enable a safe yet enjoyable shopping experience for our customers.”

Industry association representing shopping malls had been urging the government to allow them to operate for some time.

Amitabh Taneja, Chairman, Shopping Centres Association of India said, “We have made a stringent set of SOPs which are submitted to the MHA as well as the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) and other authorities. The relaxation is certainly going to help ease an unimaginable amount of pressure that was put on the industry following the lockdown. Revival and resurgence is a long process, which has just about begun.”

He said that the industry will await further information from MOHFW to ensure the guidelines are followed in letter and spirit.

National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) said it will be engaging with various state governments in the coming days. However, the industry body said it "fails to understand the logic behind keeping out bars from the purview of the permitted activities."

“We now await to engage with various State Governments to put together stringent safeguards to ensure safe environment for our consumers and employees,” the industry association stated.

“Keeping in mind that the business volume is expected to be very subdued for quite some period, it is very critical for landlords and operators to arrive at fresh commercial terms at the earliest. It will be most unfortunate if businesses don't kick-start due to commercial stalemate,” NRAI added in a statement.

Added Merrill Pereyra, Managing Director, Pizza Hut Indian Subcontinent , “We are already following all regulatory protocols and guidelines issued by the government, WHO and FSSAI at our stores since contactless delivery and takeaway are operational. All our stores are equipped to offer contactless dining wherein right from accessing the menu to making payments, the process will be digital.”

Published on May 31, 2020

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