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As night curfew goes, Noida night clubs see packed weekend



Gautam Budh Nagar’s nightclub and pub owners said their business spiked by at least 30% on the first weekend after the removal of night curfew restrictions on February 19.

The Uttar Pradesh government had imposed a night curfew from 11pm to 5am on December 24, 2021 across the state to curb the spread of the Omicron variant-fuelled wave of the pandemic. On January 10, the curfew timings were revised to 10pm-6am, and on February 12, they were again set back to 11pm-5am.

According to restaurateurs, pubs and nightclubs that thrive on footfall post-10pm were hit the worst by the night curfew. “We were surviving on barely 25-30% of our pre-night curfew revenue. We have a licence to operate till 1am, but due to the restrictions, we had to shut the place much earlier, affecting the business,” said Manish Khattar, owner of The Bar Company, a pub in Gardens Galleria Mall in Sector 38A, Noida.

However, this weekend, the pub could operate till its licensed time, and saw a spike in business. “We are very relieved with the removal of night curfew. On the first weekend itself, we saw the revenue increase to 50-60% of the pre-night curfew level. We are hoping that by next weekend, our business will generate at least 80% of the pre-night curfew revenue,” he added.

Restaurateurs say that even customers were waiting for the curbs to be relaxed.

“This weekend, there was good footfall at the pub. Even customers were waiting for the curbs to be lifted. The relaxation of curbs will breathe life back into Noida’s party scene,” said Yogesh Sharma, the owner of Flying Dutchman pub and restaurant in sectors 32 and 63.

Restaurateurs say they hope to recover losses they incurred in the last two months, which came close on the heels of nearly seven months of night curfew restrictions from April to October last year.

“The hospitality industry was badly hit by the night curfew restrictions, but we are grateful that the curbs have been removed now. Last year too, night curfew restrictions were imposed in Uttar Pradesh in April and lifted in October. Then they were imposed again in December right before the festive time of Christmas and New Years. Hence, for a very long duration, restaurants, pubs and nightclubs continued to incur losses,” said Varun Khera, head of the National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI), Noida chapter.

He added that with increased operational timings, clubs can ensure social distancing among the customers. “The longer we are allowed to operate, the more we can stagger the crowd, and ensure social distancing,” said Khera, who owns Desi Vibes and Kaffiiaa restaurants in Sector 18.

Meanwhile, medical experts say staffers as well as customers should continue to exercise caution even though curbs have been removed.

“People should avoid going to crowded places, and if they are going to these places, they should follow Covid-appropriate behaviour. In case they feel sick or show symptoms of influenza-like illnesses, they should not step out. Restaurateurs should ensure their staff is vaccinated and display and follow infection control guidelines,” said Dr DK Gupta, chairman, Felix Hospital, Noida.

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