Fellow die-hard travelers, if you have been eagerly waiting to break free from the lockdown blues, then here's some good news! In Maharashtra, resorts reopen and weekend getaways near Mumbai and Pune reopen as well. Yes, you read it right! Hotels reopen in Maharashtra after a tiresome lockdown that bogged the world down for a quarter or more! As hotels reopen, there is a certainty that slowly and steadily, we would be able to travel again.
Unlock Begins: Hotels Reopen in Maharashtra
From Monday, the Maharashtra government has allowed hotels and other businesses to provide accommodation services. So, guest houses lodges outside the containment zones can operate fully from 8 July. However, to ensure that everyone remains safe, they would be managed at only 33 percent of their total capacity. With these, a few restrictions have been eased after COVID-19 lockdown.
As per NDTV's comprehensive article, the government has issued a notification to announce the aforementioned. The businesses have been granted permission only basis of absolute adherence for social distancing rules and safety protocols.
This decision was informed to various associations of hotels and lodges after in-depth discussion with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Also, there are Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) put in place.
The lockdown will continue till 31 July. However, hotels reopen. This means that they can provide accommodation outside the containment zone with monitored entry. Most importantly, they would operate only at 33 percent capacity. But, the hotels that are housed inside shopping malls, will not reopen.
Highlights about Hotels Unlock Shared by NDTV:
The government said that these entities if they are being used as quarantine facilities, will continue to function as such unless the local district/municipal administrations decide otherwise.
Similarly, some part/whole of the balance unused capacity (67 per cent) can also be used for quarantine facility by district/municipal administration, the government said.
While allowing hotels to reopen partially, the government has asked hoteliers to ensure only asymptomatic guests are allowed.
The guests should be allowed only if they are using face cover/mask, which has to be worn all the time inside the hotels, the government instructed.
The government said the guests are to compulsorily use the Aarogya Setu app and are encouraged to minimise the use of housekeeping services.
The government has asked the hoteliers to display posters/standees/AV media prominently on preventive measures and guidelines about COVID-19.
The hoteliers have been asked to ensure proper crowd management in the hotels and parking lots, mandatory thermal screening at entrance and reception tables, which should have protective glasses.
The government has instructed the hoteliers to make available for free hand sanitisers, preferable pedal-operated dispensers, at the reception, guest rooms and public spaces for customers.
The hotels must adopt contact-less processes like QR code, online forms, digital payments like e-wallet, among others, for both check-in and check-out, the government said.
It added that the number of guests in elevators must be restricted, duly maintaining social distancing rules.
The temperature setting of all air-conditioning devices should be in the range of 24 degree Celsius to 30 degree Celsius, while the relative humidity should be in the range of 40 per cent to 70 per cent in line with the guidelines, the notification said.
Seating arrangements in the hotels must ensure observation of social distancing rules, while gaming arcades, children's play areas, swimming pools or gymnasium shall remain closed, it said.
Rooms and other service areas must be sanitised each time a guest vacates, the government has instructed. The room should be left unoccupied for at least 24 hours after a client's stay is over, it added.
In case of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case in the premises of hotels, the person should be kept in a room or area in isolation from others and the state/district authorities should be immediately informed about it.
Among others, the government has also instructed to carry out disinfection of the hotel premises if a person is found to be coronavirus positive.