‘This Is Worse Than Lockdown'

The Morning Standard|June 1, 2020

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‘This Is Worse Than Lockdown'
A personal retelling of the business end of restaurants in the light of the Centre’s new COVID-19 directives
Shantanu David

The latest tranche of do and donts’, while not very voluminous, is not very illuminating either. Restaurants and malls are allowed to operate from June 8 under new timings, while cinema halls and bars are not. Places of worship are opening, while public gatherings remain restricted. In the meantime, restaurants and hospitality businesses, already desperate, are left scrambling for clarity in the new conditions.

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t defined a generation as much as it has destabilised the entire globe. Forget bending the rules, or playing fast and loose with them, the new paradigm hasn’t settled enough anywhere in the world for there to be any. International bodies pass recommendations to national authorities that impose them on state governments, which push them on to municipal levels that exhort them to us.

As India stumbles into Lockdown 5.0, or Unlock 1.0, the Centre’s tacit trust in State authorities to implement a final solution (never a pleasant term) has left one of the largest industries in the country blind-sided, especially in the Capital.

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June 1, 2020