Restaurants allowed dine-out after 10 pm with Covid-19 SOPs


Capital admin delays restaurants’ closure until April 6

Zubair Qureshi

After intense negotiations between the officials of the Capital Administration and the representatives of the Islamabad Restaurants Association (IRA) the district administration on Saturday allowed the restaurants to serve food outdoors this weekend (Saturday & Sunday) after 10 pm.

The Islamabad Administration also withdrew its earlier decision of complete close down of restaurants on Fridays and Sundays.

The capital administration on March 24 in a new set of restrictions had disallowed serving food (indoor and outdoor) by the capital’s restaurants on Fridays and Sundays. However, after Saturday’s successful parleys that decision too was withdrawn.

During Saturday’s protest by the IRA, one could see a large number of restaurant owners, managers, proprietors and workers and other people linked to the food business holding a peaceful but quite potential protest outside the iconic Kohsar Market of Islamabad demanding lifting of ban on serving outdoor food beyond 10 pm.

They were chanting slogans and drawing the authorities’ attention towards the impact of such ‘impulsive’ decisions.

“We need to save ourselves from both Coronavirus and Hunger,” said one of the banners they were holding.

On another it was written, “Those serving food should not be deprived of it,” on another it was written, “outdoor food is just 10pc of our business.”

Mubashir Luqman who runs Table Talk at Kohsar Market was of the view that if restaurants are allowed to serve food round the clock there would be little possibility of people mixing up or getting closer.

Mazhar Allah Yar, General Manager of Monal Restaurant who was leading the protesters said the capital administration has understood that it was no use closing down the restaurants.

They have agreed we could run the business this Sunday (today) and the restrictions would now come into effect from April 6 & 7.

By that time Ramazan will be around the corner and we shall be having new SOPs to follow, he hoped.

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