BENGALURU: With the easing of lockdown norms, hotels and restaurants are gearing up to reopen from Monday. But in what could be seen as a controversial move, they have decided not to employ anyone from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Gujarat which have been reporting high incidence of Covid-19, for the time being. There are about 50,000 hotels and restaurants, including darshins in Karnataka, of which 15,000 are in Bengaluru alone.
Karnataka Hoteliers Association president Chandrashekar Hebbar said, “Hotels and restaurants will ensure that workers from the states with high prevalence of Covid-19 are not hired. We do not want to take any risks.’’ The travel history of other employees will be checked before they are allowed to work, he added.
Another hotelier, who did not wish to be named, said many eateries are dependent on cooks from Gujarat, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.
“But, if our customers get to know that we have hired them, they will not come to us. We will lose customers,’’ he added. While Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, who held a meeting with representatives from the hospitality and tourism sectors on Saturday, emphasised on safety measures and adherence to the guidelines issued by the Union Government, hoteliers have already started making arrangements to adjust to the new situation.
Instead of steel and porcelain plates, they are planning to use disposable plates and plantain leaves to serve food. For coffee, tea, juice and water, disposable paper cups will be used, minimising human contact. The staff will wear masks and maintain social distancing and the body temperature of customers will be checked before they enter the premises, Hebbar said. “We are trying to avoid human contact wherever possible. We do not want waiters to go near customers”, he said stressing on self-service and maintaining social distancing. He also said customers will not be allowed to use washrooms on the premises.