Hyderabad: The State government’s decision to lift the lockdown completely is fast winning public approval. After being locked up in their homes for most part of the last two months, people are way too excited to step outside.
With all restrictions finally being lifted, many can’t wait to catch up on what they have missed during the curbs be it relishing food at their favourite restaurant, hitting the night club or enjoying a nice sunset while taking a stroll along Necklace Road.
Supriya Singh, a Company Secretary, shares she is very excited to finally go out. “I understand we still have to follow all Covid precautions, but even then, it will be good to step out once in a while. I have a two-year-old daughter, who will also be happy to go out again. The second wave has been much more terrifying than last year. So, it is good to know the situation is heading towards normal once again.”
Interestingly, some people are already making plans for short trips. Karthik Kondapavuluri, an IT professional, says: “Personally for me, the news came at the most required time. I was planning to go to Warangal tomorrow for my friend’s engagement. With the lockdown over, I can drive peacefully, attend the engagement ceremony, be with my friend and drive back home whenever I want.”
While everyone is excited to go out, people are also aware that the pandemic is far from over. “The second wave was very scary, and I don’t think we want another lockdown. As all experts are predicting, a third wave is likely, and I believe it is necessary that we all follow rules and maintain Covid appropriate behaviour. I am planning to step out with my friends, but we will be using double masks besides following social distancing,” shares Swetha Chepuru, an entrepreneur.
Restaurants gearing up for unlock : The city’s hotels and restaurants have been running in losses for quite some time. Taking only online orders, with almost no customers walking in, the hotel industry was one of the worst hit during the pandemic.
Giving an insight about the hotel industry opening from Sunday, Tummala Srinivas Sampath, owner of The Spicy Venue restaurant in Jubilee Hills, who is also the Joint Secretary of Telangana State Hotel Association, says, “Most hotels are hit big time. However we are gearing up to start working from tomorrow. Only those restaurants and hotels which are completely Covid prepared will be able to do decent business as customers are very particular about that. In my restaurant, to ensure everyone’s safety, we have got all our staff vaccinated, and have all Covid precautions in place.”
Most restaurants were functioning with lesser staff till now. However with customers to come in for dining, it is likely that owners will be calling back full staff to run the operations seamlessly.
Chef Inam, owner of Kingdom of BBq n Steak House, Banjara Hills, says: “I was working with only a quarter of my staff as it was difficult to employ everyone with almost no orders. However, my entire staff will be joining me soon to welcome our guests. My regular clients have already called me to share that they will be coming in soon.”
The old city traders on Saturday welcomed the State government decision to completely lift lockdown in the State. “The decision will end the woes of thousands of traders, salesmen, craftsmen and others dependent on the market. Many were without work for long and now we hope customers visit the market and cooperate with us,” said Abid Mohiuddin, general secretary, Old City Traders Association.
Thousands of people, especially the roadside traders, were in deep crisis due to the lockdown. “As against the practice of paying regular salaries, the shop management paid us on hourly basis during the second lockdown. We pray the pandemic ends soon,” says Mohsin Qureshi, who works as a salesman.
Abdul Majeed of Pista House said for two consecutive years, they are literally without business. “It will take time for businesses to pick up as there is a financial crisis. Nevertheless, we hope there arises no need for another lockdown in the State,” he said.
Shilparamam opens for visitors : Hyderabad: Culture and handicraft hub Shilparamam at Madhapur and its mini-branch at Uppal will be thrown open for visitors on Monday following the lifting of the lockdown in Telangana.
Shilparamam at Madhapur will be open from 10.30 am to 8 pm and the mini Shilparamam at Uppal will be open from 12 noon to 8 pm, with all of their handicraft wares on sale for visitors. According to officials, facilities are being opened in adherence to Covid-19 protocols so that the visitors can enjoy their time safely.