NEW DELHI: Banquet hall owners in the national capital are caught in a cleft stick: though allowed to function after ‘Unlock’, the Delhi government has not yet come out with specific standard operating procedure to reopen. Banquet halls in the city were given the go-ahead to reopen on August 15.
Even as some owners continue to wait for guidance from the government, their losses are mounting. There are others who are confused and are taking things their own way amid a surge in Covid-19 cases. Workers at a banquet Hall in East Delhi, informed that though they have started functioning again after given the clear, customers have been far and few. Some of them hope that the situation will get better once the government issues a set of SOPs.
“We are taking precautions such as asking our staff to put on masks and observe social distancing, but customers are not ready to shell out `3-4 lakh for just 50 invitees,” said a banquet hall owner. The Central government has issued broad national guidelines, but the local businesses want more specific guidelines regarding issues sorrounding food arrangements, parking and seating.
“We discussed the matter with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the meeting that was held last month. He assured us that SOP will be issued, but so far there is none,” said a banquet hall owner who was part of the meeting with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on August 24.
“I agree that SOP must be made on the policy. It will be done soon. I will meet the representatives of the banquet halls in a few days to further discuss their problems,” Kejriwal had said. Some banquet halls and hotels in the citywere earlier roped in by the state government to function as Covid centres for ailing patients given a shortage of beds in hospitals.