Hotels, guest houses, and other accommodations in Maharashtra are now allowed to reopen, but with strict guidelines in place. Read on to know more about this new development in the state’s ‘Mission Begin Again’ project. By Bayar Jain

Following months of lockdown, a tweet by the office of Maharashtra’s chief minister’s account offers respite for hotels and guest houses in the state. As per a set of guidelines released on the official Twitter account, accommodation entities – including hotels, lodges, and guest houses – outside containment zones are allowed to reopen from July 8. However, they can only do so by operating at 33 per cent capacity.

Upon reopening, the accommodations must ensure proper posters detailing the preventive measures against COVID-19 are in place all around the property, and specific markings for crowd management have been made in areas such as parking lots. Pedal-operated hand sanitisers, thermal screenings, regular use of disinfectants, thorough deep cleaning, proper disposal of preventive gears like masks, and use of protective gear in all public areas of the hotels are some of the other steps mandated by the state.

 

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As per the release, the hotel staff has also been advised to strictly adhere to social distancing norms (inside elevators as well). The release also mandates that the air conditioners within the hotel must function at 24-30 degrees Celsius, with a humidity range of 40-70 per cent. A staggered occupancy – which must be facilitated via online check-ins and e-payments – must be followed. This means that rooms must be left unoccupied for 24 hours after a guest checks out. 

Moreover, only asymptomatic guests will be allowed to stay at hotels, provided they have the Aarogya Setu app downloaded on their forms and have submitted a declaration form detailing their past travels. To ensure safety, the order also prohibits large gatherings at these accommodations. However, should one wish to use meeting halls, a maximum of 15 people can assemble. 

However, the order also states that those accommodations that were doubling as quarantine centres during the lockdown will continue to function in the same manner temporarily unless specifically told otherwise by the district or municipal administration.

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