Chennai restaurants' reopening takes a slow start due to rise in coronavirus cases
By Vivek Raj | Galatta | Jun 09, 2020, 11:30 am
It is a daunting time for the people of Chennai as the city has recorded more than 23,000 coronavirus cases to date and is the most in Tamil Nadu with the number of cases only scaling upwards with each passing day. Despite the big spike in the cases, the state government in accordance with the relaxation guidelines laid out by the Centre in 'Unlock1', had allowed for the reopening of restaurants after a period of over two months of lockdown. Having said that, it is said that only 20 percent of the restaurants in the state had reopened for dining-in services as more than 9,000 COVID-19 cases are being reported on an everyday basis across the country for nearly a week now.
Chennai's restaurants took a rather slow start when it reopened on Monday after a two-month hiatus with many establishments revising the methods in which they offer their services. For starters, many restaurants have only allotted 50 percent seating so that social distancing can be maintained while several others are serving food on use-and-throw banana leaves. There are some restaurants that keep hand sanitisers for customers to use and some installing dispensers near the entrance of their premises. Security persons are also told to check the temperature of customers who walk into the restaurant with instructions to not allow symptomatic people inside.
Restaurants are keeping their air conditioning turned off with menus being put up on the wall to avoid any contact through the cards that are regularly passed around. Payments through E-wallets are also being encouraged in order to avoid cash transactions while masks, gloves and head covers are being worn by employees in a majority of the outlets in the city.
Although permission has been given to restaurants and hotels to resume their services, there are some establishments that have not reopened either due to the rise in the number of coronavirus cases over the past few days or as a result of the workers who have gone back to their natives after the nation went into lockdown in March. These outlets are taking a cautious approach in reopening their doors and are waiting to see how the situation turns out in the state as well as the city considering public transport remains shut down as of now.