All cinema halls, malls, restaurants and auditoriums will also remain shut from 8pm to 7am. However, home delivery and takeaways from restaurants will be allowed as per the existing timings. The state government extended the lockdown, which was in place in the state, and the new curbs till April15.
Officials said there has been no change in shops timings, though local administrations have been empowered to take decisions in their areas as per their conditions, with permission from the chief secretary.
Every person found violating the new norms will be penalised Rs1,000.
Places that flout rules will be shut till pandemic denotified
Establishments found violating the time restrictions or other guidelines will be shut down till the time Covid-19 continues to be notified as a pandemic, the state notification said. Penalties will also be levied under the Disaster Management Act. Penalties will also be levied under the Disaster Management Act.
Hoteliers’ associations and malls’ representatives felt the fresh state order was akin to a full lockdown as it would badly hit evening shopping and the dine-in business.
Shivanand Shetty, president of AHAR, the association of restaurants, said the curbs were “a death knell for many restaurants which have somehow survived last year’s lockdown.” He added, “While we share the concern of the government and the predicament it is in, we don’t see any logic in these latest restrictions as there is no proven research on the increase in spread of Covid during night. Also, it is the employees or workforce associated with the hospitality industry also who will suffer.”
Tabrez Upletawala of Persian Darbar restaurant, Bandra, said dine-in and home delivery counted for 50-50 of his business, but losses will spiral. “Many people have already been avoiding non-vegetarian food since the pandemic. Now the customers we get will also be unable to come.” Rajendra Kalkar of High Street Phoenix Mall said, “Business will suffer, the food and beverage segment most of all. Malls are far safer than railway stations, vegetable markets and bus stands where people hardly follow Covid protocols.”
Rima Kirtikar, chief marketing officer of Viviana Mall, said, “Early dining is not part of Mumbai’s culture. So home delivery is the best recourse for our restaurants to adapt to the new scenario.” Another mall representative said, “The hospitality industry is an easy target. We in fact are using and enforcing sanitisers, masks and physical distancing.”
The state has also fixed the penalty to be levied on people without a mask at Rs 500. With this, there is uniformity in fines across the state, and Rs 1,000 is the fine for people found spitting in public places. To decrowd government offices, apart from elected representatives, other visitors will not be allowed without urgent work. And in that case, special passes will be issued by the department concerned.
With the Centre pointing out that home isolation norms are being violated, the state has asked patients opting for home isolation to give their doctor’s information to local authorities, and it will be the doctor’s responsibility to ensure all norms are being followed and in case of a violation, the doctor should immediately intimate the authorities and withdraw his consent to supervise the patient. The state has also extended existing restrictions.