This Article is From Dec 24, 2020

"What Can We Do... Already Hurting": Karnataka Hotels, Pubs On Night Curfew

Daily case numbers in Karnataka are falling - from a high of over 10,000 per day to less than 2,000 now but there remain fears (even without those of a more aggressive strain) of a second wave

Hotels and pubs fear strict night curfews could further hurt their businesses

Bengaluru:

The coronavirus pandemic has been a hugely challenging time for restaurants and hotels across the country, which have only recently been allowed to open after months of lockdown.

The initial response from customers has been cautious but, just as businesses were hoping that the festive season might bring good news, the night curfew in Karnataka - from 11 pm to 5 am over fears of a new and aggressive strain of the virus - come as another big blow.

Ravi owns Donne Biriyani, a five-year old restaurant that employs eight people. He told NDTV that the night curfew "will really hit us". "Night time is when we get good business. The earlier daytime lockdown has already hit us hard."

Meghna Foods is a 10-year-old restaurant that used to employ around 100 people pre-pandemic. Now it has less than 70.

"We are already running at a loss. We had just started to recover. If they reintroduce this (a lockdown) we will have double-double loss. The public usually comes out at Christmas and New Year but now the police will be strict... will seize vehicles, so our business will be hit," MH Lal, the manager, said.

Pubs and bars, of which Bengaluru has several also do brisk business late at night.

"Already we are suffering a loss. Now they are saying curfew at 10 pm, 11 pm. There is no meaning to this. At the end of the year we were preparing to have some good business. What can we do, if they do this now. What can we do for our staff. We are already hurting," Bhaskara, the manager of the Tamarind Bar and Restaurant, told NDTV.

But while the night curfew will be a big loss for the hospitality industry - and lead to (yet more) revenue loss for the state - it believes such measures are needed to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said: "In view of the new strain of COVID-19 virus, and as per advice of the Government of India and technical advisory committee, it is decided to impose night curfew from today till January 2. I request the public to cooperate to contain the new COVID-19 strain."

Daily case numbers in Karnataka are falling - from a high of over 10,000 per day to less than 2,000 now. But there remain fears (even without those of a more aggressive strain) of a second wave.

The Karnataka government believes a combination of holiday gatherings and the new strain was too much of a risk to take, and so the night curfew has been announced to usher people out of 2020 and into the New Year.