In a bid to overcome economic stress due to COVID-19 lockdown, the Centre is working on a slew of suggestions given by some states that have demanded further graded opening up of the tourism and hospitality sector.
The economies of States and Union Territories such as Puducherry, Kerala, Goa, etc and some North-eastern states are heavily dependent on tourism and hospitality, which is yet to get relaxation from lockdown restrictions.
For lockdown 5.0, the Centre is exploring ways to fulfill the demand of opening hotels, restaurants, beaches, etc. It is expected that the Union Government may come up with more relaxations which will kick start economic activities in the states.
"Those states which rely on tourism and hospitality are still struggling and these States have demanded to ease out rules for such sectors. It is expected that lockdown 5.0 may get a breather for tourism and hospitality industry," a senior government official claimed.
"States have suggested ways to open hotel, restaurants, tourism, etc by limiting number of visitors and also maintaining mandatory social distancing. States have said that they can allow dine-in facilities with a limited number of sitting capacity, temperature check of visitors and Aarogya Setu App must for all visitors. States have requested Centre that through this, they can augment revenue collections required to run the state," official added.
In lockdown 5, the government is focusing and planning a road map to further ease out norms which will give the required economic push. However, a detailed discussion is on and the Centre is yet to take a final decision.
Meanwhile, Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Friday said that he spoke to Home Minister Amit Shah on the phone. Sawant feels that the lockdown may be extended for 15 more days.
However, the Goa Government has demanded that there should be some relaxations - restaurants should be allowed to function with social distancing at 50 per cent capacity. Many people also want gyms to resume, he added.
In another development, Bengaluru's hotels are likely to open in June if the State government issues guidelines for the resumption of their services.
( With inputs from ANI )