After months of COVID-19 lockdown and uncertainty, hotels in Delhi have resumed operations. The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) in its Wednesday meeting had approved for opening of hotels, restaurants and weekly markets in the capital.
However, they have to follow various anti-COVID-19 measures such as deep cleaning of washrooms, use of contactless processes like e-wallets and proper crowd management. The DDMA also prescribed the use of disposable menus, social distancing at buffets, limited numbers in elevators and use of escalators with a person on alternate steps.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the re-opening of the hotels in Delhi was a crucial step in reviving the economy. He said that initially, the Central government was against the idea of opening the hotel industry in Delhi because COVID-19 cases might rise again. “But I explained to them that the hotels are functioning in areas where the cases of COVID-19 are rising in the country. Either the Centre should shut the hotels down across the entire country, or open it in the region where COVID-19 is under control,” Kejriwal said.
“Hotels will be permitted to operate throughout the National Capital Territory of Delhi in all areas except the containment zones, subject to strict compliance of standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on June 4, 2020, and other instructions and guidelines of the Government of India and Government of NCT of Delhi from time to time,” the order issued by DDMA said. The Union Health Ministry’s SOPs stressed proper crowd management inside and outside hotel premises like parking lots. It said large gatherings at hotels should be prohibited. Besides general precautions like social distancing, use of face cover, and hand and respiratory hygiene, it prescribes furnishing details like travel and medical history as well as identity proof by the guests at the reception.
The directive states that gaming arcades and play areas for children shall be closed. Hotels in Delhi must adopt contactless processes like QR code, online forms, digital payments like e-wallets for check-in and check-out.