The Karnataka government had earlier imposed a weekend and night curfew to curb the spread of COVID-19 infections.

Two people eating at a restaurant as staff wearing masks and gloves work in the backgroundRepresentational image/PTI
news COVID-19 Friday, January 07, 2022 - 14:14

Several associations in the hospitality, food and beverage sector have opposed the Karnataka government’s move to impose weekend curfew, which was done to curb the spread of the current surge in COVID-19 cases. Many cited the loss of business and job loss for employees working in the sector during the previous restrictions and lockdowns that occurred in the first and second wave of COVID-19 infections and. They said that this would again push the industry into a crisis.

“The night curfew, weekend curfew and 50% seating capacity is unscientific. This move will deal a huge blow to hotels, resorts, tourism, bars and restaurants. In the guidelines (by the government), it is stated that (these) can't function on the weekends. There are several businessmen dependent on weekends. The government must also give attention to them. Thousands of people have already lost jobs. This is like putting salt on a wound,” a press release by the Bruhat Bengaluru Hotels Association stated.

The Karnataka Tourism Society, a body under the Karnataka government’s Department of Tourism also opposed the move, and in a statement said, “It is estimated that the job loss is in excess of 5,00,000 (5 lakh) and the revenue loss to the industry is approximately Rs 75,000 crore for the last 18 months.”

They further raised three demands

> Tourists booked for weekends with valid stay vouchers should be permitted to travel in their cars/taxis and other means of transportations.

> Tourists should be allowed to check in and check out on Saturday and Sunday.

> Bars / Restaurants should be permitted to operate with 50% occupancy.

In addition they stated, “We seek this with the utmost of responsibility to ensure all COVID-19 guidelines will be strictly adhered to in our sector with zero tolerance to any deviation.”

Read: Karnataka sees over 5000 fresh COVID-19 cases, 4324 from Bengaluru alone

The Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry stated that the government has to review its decision to impose the weekend curfew. They argued that during the earlier waves, there was no vaccine and with vaccination going on, it was not too risky to keep commercial establishments open with strict implementation of COVID-19 protocols and making vaccination certificates compulsory for all those entering the establishments.

Read: Weekend curfew in Karnataka from Jan 5: What’s allowed and what’s not

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