COVID-19 surge has brought restaurant industry back to square one: NRAI

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a six-day lockdown from 10 pm on Monday till 5 am on April 26

COVID-19 surge has brought restaurant industry back to square one: NRAI

File photo for representation.

New Delhi, April 19

The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) on Monday said the sudden surge of COVID-19 has brought the restaurant industry back to the same dire situation it was at the earlier peak of the pandemic.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a six-day lockdown from 10 pm on Monday till 5 am on April 26 which he said was necessary to deal with the rising number of COVID-19 cases as the city’s health system was stretched to its limits.

The lockdown is needed to prevent the health system of Delhi from collapsing under the increasing number of patients as there is an acute shortage of medicines, beds, ICUs and oxygen, Kejriwal said.

“This is the most unfortunate situation; we could have ever witnessed. The sudden second surge of COVID has brought us to square one; the same place we were standing aimlessly a year ago at the peak of the pandemic,” NRAI president Anurag Katriar said in a statement.

As far as the restaurant industry is concerned, the new curfew regulations don’t change the status quo for the industry, he added.

“Our dine-in business was shut until the 30th of April under the night curfew regulations and only home deliveries were permitted and these conditions remain unchanged now under the curfew,” Katriar said.

As partners with the Delhi government in this fight against the pandemic, “we once again request the govt to kindly smoothen and expedite the process to issue e-passes for our teams”, he added.

Katriar said clear directions to the law enforcing agencies will ensure that restaurant workers, who are also frontline warriors, are not subjected to any undue harassment by the law-enforcing authorities.

“Home deliveries, which is just a minuscule part of our overall business, is currently the only business avenue available to us and therefore very critical. We are sure that the govt of Delhi is aware of this and will do the needful to protect the interests of our beleaguered fraternity”, he added. PTI

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