New Delhi, Aug 21 (PTI) The DDMA on Friday issued an order, asking hotels to open in the city with various anti-COVID-19 measures, including use of contactless processes like e-wallets, undertaking deep cleaning of washrooms and proper crowd management on its premises.
It also prescribed use of disposable menus, social distancing at buffet, restricted numbers in elevators and use of escalators with a person on alternate steps.
The representatives of the hotel associations in Delhi also met Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and thanked him for opening the hotel industry.
During the meeting, the chief minister said all the stakeholders have to work together to strengthen Delhi's economy.
The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) in its meeting on Wednesday had given its approval for opening of hotels, restaurants and weekly markets in the city.
The order issued on Friday by DDMA said "hotels will be permitted to operate throughout the National Capital Territory of Delhi in all areas, except the containment zones, subject to strict compliance of standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on June 4, 2020, and other instructions and guidelines of Government of India and Government of NCT of Delhi from time to time." According to the Union Health ministry's SOP, proper crowd management inside and outside hotel premises like parking lots should be ensured and large gatherings at the hotels should be prohibited.
Besides general precautions like social distancing, use of face cover and hand and respiratory hygiene, it prescribes furnishing details like travel and medical history as well as identity proof by the guests at the reception.
It also states that gaming arcades and play areas for children shall be closed and the hotels must adopt contactless processes like QR code, online forms, digital payments like e-wallets for check-in and check outs.
It also prescribes air conditioning to be maintained in the range of 24-30 degrees Celsius and relative humidity at 40-70 per cent. Valet staff will use face covers and disinfect key, steering and door of vehicles of the guest, it said.
Earlier, during the meeting with representatives of hotel associations, Kejriwal thanked the hotel industry, saying when coronavirus was at its peak, the hotels supported the government in enhancing the capacity of beds for treatment of patients.
Kejriwal said even though the central government was against the opening of the hotel industry in Delhi out of a fear that the cases might rise again, it was a very important step in reviving the economy of Delhi.
"The Central government was against the idea of opening the hotel industry in Delhi, and I would not blame them because the Centre must have thought that the cases might rise again.
"But I explained to them that the hotels are functioning in areas where the cases of corona are rising in the country. Either the Centre should shut the hotels down across the entire country, or open it in the region where the corona is under control," he said.
The chief minister said there were two challenges -- how to end the spread of the virus and reviving the economy of Delhi because businesses have been shut and jobs have been lost due to the pandemic.
"I am happy that since June 1, when the central government had opened the lockdown, and after we went ahead to lift the lockdown in Delhi on their directions, we did not have the need to re-impose the lockdown in the capital," he said.
He said Delhi government planned in detail for this and once the lockdown was lifted on June 1, the government did feel that the situation was getting out of hands during first 15-20 days, but it took support of all and reinstated normalcy and control in Delhi, he added.