`Hotel banquet, meeting curbs should be commensurate with venue size’

Requesting the Tamil Nadu government for relaxation or waiver of statutory payments, the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) also urged the former to have Covid-19 restriction norms for hotel meetings and banquets commensurate to the venue size.

In a letter to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami, the FHRAI requested relaxation/waiver of statutory payments such as electricity charges, property taxes, excise license fee, among others owing to Covid-19 impact on the hotel industry.

The Association also urged Palaniswami to have the restrictions on the meeting/gathering norms for hotels/banquets/open venues commensurate to the venue size.

The Association said it defies logic that with aircraft being allowed to fly with 200 passengers without social distancing, why can’t hotels and restaurants operate in this country by properly following the safety and hygiene protocols.

The policy of imposing blanket ban/selective restriction on hospitality establishments should be abolished and even in extreme circumstances, need/situation-based restrictions should be implemented, the FHRAI said.

Citing the Covid-19 second wave and the Tamil Nadu government mulling night curfew to control the spread of the pandemic, the FHRAI said owing to the prevailing restrictions and work-from-home arrangements, restaurants have no significant business during the day time and the imposition of night curfew is tantamount to closure of business for the sector.

The FHRAI also appealed to the state government to allow the guests attending marriages to use invitation cards in the place of curfew passes.

The industry body also wanted the government to recognise the services of hospitality workers as frontline corona warriors and recommend them for priority vaccination.