- Unlock 2.0 will make way for Unlock 3.0 guidelines coming into effect from 01st August 2020. The Union Home Ministry guidelines are a mixed bag as few industries pinning hopes on easing of restrictions will be left feeling disappointed though some would rejoice. Cinema Hall proprietors – both single screen and multi-screen operators – were positively hoping for kick-starting the operation but would have to wait for some more time. Likewise, bars and hotels serving liquor will also be nurturing disenchantment.
- Fortunately, dine-in restaurants can serve food late into the night as the earlier imposed night-curfew is discontinued. Some cheerful news indeed for the hotel industry who continued to operate even during successive lockdowns with only take-aways allowed back then. Restricted timings owing to night-curfew was hardly serving the purpose of the industry. Of course, it begs question as to why liquor serving is not being allowed when the hotels will be functioning late into the night.
- Bars, pubs, and restaurants serving liquor are bound to feel let down as apparent application of different yardsticks is at play. Social distancing norms and guidelines would have been adhered to by this industry as well. Deserves reconsideration on the part of the authorities concerned for sure. Come to think of it, excise revenue is the most vital organ of fiscal management and hence, selling of liquor was permitted from the outlets the moment the first opportunity arose to do so. No complaints though.
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- However, continuing restrictions on bars, pubs, and restaurants serving liquor seem inconsistent with the often-stated objective of ‘learning to live with the virus’. When virtually every other sector is permitted to operate, restricting this segment here simply does not go with the narration. Fortunately, gymnasiums and yoga centers are concurred go-ahead to resume operations which makes imminent sense as maintaining physical health assumes greater importance under the prevailing circumstances. Greatly helps in building immunity to fight the virus menace.
- People should exercise caution though. Closed enclosure housing huge numbers would have proved anathema to the very idea of maintaining social distancing norms and cinema halls/multiplex movie screens does pose a real challenge prompting the authorities to exercise caution. In hindsight, permitting screening with fifty percent occupancy could have been explored. Might have to wait for some more time. The entertainment industry would be further hard-pressed for sure.
- As expected, schools & colleges along with swimming pools, social gatherings, and other cultural activities are still a big no-no. The question is for how long? Educational institutions should be permitted to open in a graded manner and hopefully from 01st October onwards. Fingers crossed! Time to bring back the economy on track not embracing knee-jerk measures like lockdowns but purposeful activities of opening up industries.