Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad in category 3, easing of curbs begins

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Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad in category 3, easing of curbs begins

Pune, June 7

An easing of coronavirus-induced curbs under the Maharashtra government’s five-level plan based on infection positivity rate and oxygen bed occupancy levels came into force on Monday in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad civic areas, both of which are placed in category 3.

Easing of curbs under the third category will be applicable for the places where the positivity rate is five per cent to 10 per cent and the oxygen bed occupancy is more than 40 per cent.

Hotels, restaurants, bars and food courts as well as salons, beauty parlours and wellness centres have been allowed to function with 50 percent seating capacity on weekdays till 4 pm from Monday.

The Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Ltd, which has been allowed to start services with 50 per cent passenger capacity, said it had deployed 415 buses on 179 routes.

“Around 30 per cent of our members have reopened their eateries and restaurants in the city. Most of these are in areas where corporate establishments and offices are located.

The staff in many eateries have been away and they will start coming back over the next one week,” Ganesh Shetty, president of Pune Restaurants and Hoteliers Association said.

Sandeep Narang, president of United Hospitality Association, said some 10 per cent of members opened their outlets but this figure would improve in the days to come, adding that the administration must soon increase the time limit till 11pm.

Somnath Kashid, state president of salons and beauty parlours association said establishments in this sector have been allowed to operate between 7am and 4pm and some 70-80 per cent of them have opened their outlets in Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad.

He said members of the association were taking care of all Covid-19 norms, including having use-and-throw aprons, to provide customers “clinic-like” treatment.

“The main question in front of a majority of members is about how to pay shop rents that are pending for the last two months. We want the state government to give us a waiver in electricity bills as well as free vaccination against Covid-19,” he said.

Business over the next few days is expected to be good due to the easing of restrictions, said Fatehchand Ranka, chief of Federation of Traders Associations Pune (FTAP).

Meanwhile, rural areas of Pune district have been placed in category 4, with shops dealing in non-essential items not being allowed to operate and eateries directed to deploy parcel and home delivery mechanisms. — PTI

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