A day after the Delhi government allowed banquet halls, marriage halls, and hotels to host weddings, with the number of guests capped at 50, wedding industry workers said they have suffered huge losses due to the lockdown in the national capital amid rising COVID-19 cases.
Manager of the Royal Park Hall in Delhi, Prince Ratnani, said: "The wedding industry has been hugely impacted due to the ongoing pandemic. Not just that, we have had to face restrictions and lockdown curbs which resulted in zero business and bookings on most occasions."
He said potential bookings were lost as many customers switched their wedding venues to neighbouring states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, where events with more number of guests were allowed.
"We have lost potential bookings because Haryana and UP allowed permitted marriages before Delhi did. In this process, some of our customers have shifted their venues out of Delhi. After nearly a 10-week lockdown, reviving ourselves been difficult because we are also not able to pay our staff," Mr Ratnani added.
Delhi recorded 59 new COVID-19 cases today, the lowest this year, which took the overall caseload to 14,33,993. The active number of Covid cases in the national capital stands at 1,553.
With the decline in cases, the national capital has been easing pandemic restrictions over the last few days. Gyms and yoga centres have been allowed to reopen in Delhi at 50 per cent capacity, an official government order said on Sunday. Last week, Delhi allowed shops to remain open through the week and markets to open with partial workforce as daily cases showed a downward trend.
However, these fresh set of relaxations came with strong warning by doctors and public health experts about the risks of a rapid unlocking and disregard for Covid protocols. Over the past week, visuals of crowded marketplaces with no adherence to social distancing rules and Covid protocols have sparked concern among healthcare experts.
Delhi witnessed one of the worst outbreaks of coronavirus during the second wave of the pandemic over April and May as it reported a tidal wave of cases every day.