Maharashtra on Monday decided to allow hotels and other entities providing accommodation services like lodges and guest houses outside containment zones to operate from July 8 at 33 per cent of their capacity, further easing rstrictions in the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
The government announced the decision through a notification.
The permission has been granted on conditions of these entities strictly adhere to social distancing rules and other protocols.
The government's move comes a day after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray interacted with various associations of hotels and lodges, and assured them of taking a decision soon on reopening after finalising Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
The on-going lockdown in the state will be in force till July 31.
Hotels and other entities providing accommodation services, including lodges, and guest houses , outside containment zones, have been allowed to operate with restricted entry.
"These establishments will operate at 33 per cent capacity and on conditions specified, the notification said.
The hotels in shopping malls, however, will not be allowed to reopen.
The government said that these entities, if they are being used as quarantine facilities, will continue to function as such unless the local district/municipal administrations decide otherwise.
Similarly, some part/whole of the balance unused capacity (67 per cent) can also be used for quarantine facility by district/municipal administration, the government said.
While allowing hotels to reopen partially, the government has asked hoteliers to ensure only asymptomatic guests are allowed.
The guests should be allowed only if they are using face cover/mask, which has to be worn all the time inside the hotels, the government instructed.
The government said the guests are to compulsorily use the Aarogya Setu app and are encouraged to minimise the use of housekeeping services.
The government has asked the hoteliers to display posters/standees/AV media prominently on preventive measures and guidelines about COVID-19.
The hoteliers have been asked to ensure proper crowd management in the hotels and parking lots, mandatory thermal screening at entrance and reception tables, which should have protective glasses.
The government has instructed the hoteliers to make available for free hand sanitisers, preferable pedal-operated dispensers, at the reception, guest rooms and public spaces for customers.
The hotels must adopt contact-less processes like QR code, online forms, digital payments like e-wallet, among others, for both check-in and check-out, the government said.
It added that the number of guests in elevators must be restricted, duly maintaining social distancing rules.
The temperature setting of all air-conditioning devices should be in the range of 24 degree Celsius to 30 degree Celsius, while the relative humidity should be in the range of 40 per cent to 70 per cent in line with the guidelines, the notification said.
Seating arrangements in the hotels must ensure observation of social distancing rules, while gaming arcades, children's play areas, swimming pools or gymnasium shall remain closed, it said.
Rooms and other service areas must be sanitised each time a guest vacates, the government has instructed. The room should be left unoccupied for at least 24 hours after a client's stay is over, it added.
In case of a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case in the premises of hotels, the person should be kept in a room or area in isolation from others and the state/district authorities should be immediately informed about it.
Among others, the government has also instructed to carry out disinfection of the hotel premises if a person is found to be coronavirus positive.
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