New Year plans go awry


But, hotel and tourism industry support government move to check the spread of COVID-19

News of the night curfew has come as a dampener for citizens who had hoped to ring in the New Year in hotels, bars and restaurants in the city. However, the hotel industry has expressed its support to the move in the interest of public health.

Manu Chandra, who heads the National Restaurant Association of India, acknowledged that many New Year plans had been hit. “However, we support the government, which is putting in place various measures to check the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. That said, we really wish that such decisions are taken with a modicum of understanding, especially since the industry has already taken a big hit this year,” he said and added that the move was not anticipated in Karnataka, where the number of COVID-19 positive cases seemed to be on the downturn.

P.C. Rao, president of Bruhat Bengaluru Hotels’ Association, agreed and said that for many hotels, pubs, restaurants, most business happens post 10 p.m. on December 31.

When the government first announced the night curfew would begin at 10 p.m., Mr. Rao, on behalf of the Association, had urged the government to impose it after 11 p.m., on the lines of curfew announced by the Maharashtra government.

Hotels, restobars and others that had planned events were taken by surprise. A restobar in H.S.R. Layout was only offering regular dine-in service, which too will close by 10 p.m. The live music event that had been planned stands cancelled and booking made are now redeemable for food and drinks, said the manager.

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A brewpub in Whitefield, which had booked a celebrity DJ from Mumbai, has now booked a DJ from the city to entertain their patrons. While the earlier packages have now been cancelled, the cover charges remain fully redeemable.

Sanjar Imam, president of Karnataka Tourism Forum, said that while bookings made at homestays and resorts may not be affected by the curfew, many New Year plans and standalone Christmas celebrations had been impacted.

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Sagar Biswas

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