Business at several bars and pubs resumed on Saturday following government permission given the previous day to reopen them. Clubs, however, continued to remain closed for members.
The government permitted bars, clubs and tourism bars to reopen after 194 days of closure, initially due to COVID-19 the lockdown and later to meet the Centre’s guidelines on safeguards to be followed against the novel coronavirus.
In the case of clubs, the managements have decided to bide time and reopen them only after only after ensuring that safety measures for members were put in place. Besides, several facilities in clubs like tennis courts, swimming pools, gyms, card rooms, dining halls and salons have to be cleaned and sanitised which will take a week or 10 days. Even use-and-throw glasses have to be procured. The health condition of bearers and stewards has to be checked, the president of New Club at Marredpally, P. Laxman Rao said.
He added that post lockdown, the government had enhanced liquor rates which has necessitated recalibration of billing machines. A fresh rate list has to be put up on notice boards of clubs.
An executive member of Fatehmaidan Club G. Srinivas Goud said most clubs were preparing to open in the first week of October.
The lights were switched on Saturday evening at pubs and bars in Hyderabad. Only a few pubs did not open as the announcement of permission to reopen caught them off-guard. At some pubs on Jubilee Hills Road no.36, Road no. 45 and Madhapur areas, long rows of cars could be seen with patrons waiting to step inside.
Pubs, bars and clubs in Telangana have been under a lockdown for a longer period than other those in states after the Centre granted permission for reopening from September 7. The SOP norms issued by the Telangana government prohibit get-togethers, musical events and performances on dance floor. Permit rooms attached to liquor shops too have not been given permission to open up.
“Fifty per cent occupancy, 22 tables instead of 50. No standing tables. Three times sanitisation. Staff was asked to come back and quarantined for 15 days. Hostel facility provided so that they dont have to stay and go out. Cutlery goes through UV sanitisation. No use of disposable tableware. Two sets separated, so that one set is left unused for 24 hours,” said Sanjay Bathla of Over The Moon (OTM) in Madhapur. “OTM is an open-air facility so there is no scope for recirculation of air. In addition we are following all the standard operating procedures, including sanitisation, thermal checks for staff as well as customers. The staff get an oximeter check as well,” he added.
“We have been getting enquiries after the news of reopening in other states was reported. With the steps we are taking for customer safety, nobody should have doubt,” said the owner of a microbrewery unwilling to go on record.