A decision on reopening hotels and restaurants in Maharashtra will be taken soon after finalising Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Sunday.
Interacting with various associations of hotels and lodges, the CM said the hotel industry played a crucial role in the tourism sector.
Addressing another meeting, the CM has appealed to companies not to retrench their workers even if there is a wage cut.
"SoPs for reopening hotels and restaurants are being finalised. Once that is done, a decision on reopening hotels and restaurants will be taken soon," the chief minister said in an online meeting.
In a bid to reopen industries in a staggered manner in the state, the Thackeray government had last month launched the 'Mission Begin Again' or Unlock 1.
Urging the hotel industry not to retrench workers as the 'Mission Begin Again' is underway, the CM said reopening would be done carefully with the emphasis on health and safety.
"(Factors like) SoPs, regulation and self regulation, work force strength, health safety measures etc. are very much important," Thackeray said.
The COVID-19 case count in Maharashtra stood at 2,00,064 as on July 4 with 8,671 deaths so far.
Meanwhile, Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray has hailed the role of the hotel industry in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The (hotel) industry has played an important role since day one (of the COVID-19 outbreak) by housing frontline warriors in hotels and lodges," Aaditya said while addressing the virtual meeting, after the CM.
During the virtual interaction with the CM, hoteliers suggested that water and electricity be provided at the rate which is applicable to other industries.
Representatives of the hotel industry underlined the need to restart their establishments stating that the state government is losing revenue due to the extended shutdown.
The hotel and restaurant industry is losing over Rs 6 crore per day due to the lockdown, they said.
"If social distancing norms (for patrons) and overall hygiene protocol is maintained, then there is no problem (in reopening hotels)," they said.
Addressing a meeting of office-bearers of the Bhartiya Kamgar Sena, the labour wing of the ruling Shiv Sena, the chief minister said employers should not retrench their workers even if there is a wage cut.
He assured to speak with the management of companies which are laying off workers.