Teddy bears are seen at tables in a restaurant on September 25th in New Delhi, India to maintain social distance. Amal KS / Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Deli is easing restaurant opening hours and liquor licenses to help the industry recover from the financial impact of the pandemic.
Restaurants in the city are now allowed to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, contrary to pre-pandemic conditions, if facilities were to close at night.
Delhi Prime Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced several measures on Wednesday after meeting officials from the National Restaurants Association of India to stimulate business following the easing of pandemic restrictions.
“Delhi’s restaurants are the pride of Delhi, providing lakhs (hundreds of thousands) of work. I have instructed all departments to remove unnecessary problems in the smooth running of restaurants in Delhi,” said Kejriwal.
Several licensing reforms were introduced, including the elimination of several “archaic” rules for serving alcohol in restaurants. Restaurants are allowed to serve alcohol in open areas at no additional charge, and licenses for all types of music are allowed.
India announced a nationwide lockdown on March 24, forcing its 1.3 billion people indoors. On June 8th, restaurants in Delhi were allowed to reopen to ease restrictions. According to the Indian Ministry of Health, Delhi has reported 298,107 cases of coronavirus, including 5,616 deaths.
Nationwide campaign: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched a campaign to promote the appropriate behavior of Covid-19 “in light of the upcoming festivals and winter season and the opening of the economy,” according to a government press release released on Wednesday.
Social media posts, banners, murals and electronic billboards will be placed in public spaces to convey the message, “wear a mask, maintain physical distance, maintain hand hygiene,” the press release added.
Overall, India has registered at least 6.8 million Covid-19 cases, including more than 105,000 deaths, according to the Ministry of Health.