Andhra hospitality industry looks to reboot amid COVID-19 pandemic

Social distancing, sanitisation to play key role as malls, hotels, eateries gear up to reopen businesses.

Published: 07th June 2020 09:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th June 2020 09:14 AM   |  A+A-

Dolls to help diners maintain distancing in Vijayawada | Prasant Madugula

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA:  Hospitality industry is all geared up to resume operations from June 8. Several hotels, restaurants and malls in the city have made changes in their respective properties as per the standard operating procedures (SOP) released by the State government.

The hotel managements have bought personal protect equipment (PPE) sufficient for a month for housekeeping and kitchen staff. “All guests entering the hotel premises will be screened by a thermal gun at the main entrance by security personnel in PPE gear. We have made markings as to where people can stand so as to maintain social distancing. Of the three reception desks, only two will be operational,” said a manager of one of the city hotels. 

The hotel has also switched to disposable menu cards in rooms, which will be discarded each time the room is booked by a new guest. “Also, we will be giving a breathing space of 24 hours for each room between two bookings so that when the next guest enters, the room is completely sanitised,” the manager added. 

A few hotels have come up with innovative ideas in order to reduce personal contact. “We have placed a QR code on each table where the guests will be allowed to sit. The customers can scan the code, place order from telephones and pay the bill as well. This way there won’t be sharing of menus, no exchange of menu between guests and waiters and also no contact during payments,” explained another hotel manager.

This apart, the hotel has also deployed a ‘corona inspector’ who will roam around the hotel premises to ensure that guests maintain wear masks and maintain physical  distance. Face shields have been procured for the hotel’s reception staff. 

The restaurants have also reduced seating arrangements by half to maintain social distancing norms. “We have 15 tables. Of them, we will operate only seven now. Even if any big group comes, they will not be allowed to join tables,” said a restaurant owner. Some hotels have decided not to provide mandi services to contain the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, the decision whether to reopen food courts is yet to be taken by the district administration. The city has three major open food courts — one each near IGMC Stadium, Benz Circle and BRTS Road. Regarding those hotels, which are currently being used as paid quarantine centres, joint collector Dr K Madhavi Latha said, “Out of the 13 selected hotels, a few will be allowed to resume operations on June 8.”


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