Hygiene, social distancing in focus as restaurants, shops gear up to reopen

Restaurant operators and retailers are now looking forward to resume business activities after the government on Saturday allowed them to re-open from June 8.

Several Quick Service (QSR) operators have redesigned and reorganised layouts of their dining facilities to adhere to social distancing norms along with additional hygiene features, while some have also introduced home delivery and take-away.

While most of the players welcomed government’s order to reopen and shopping malls in a phased manner from June 8, saying that it would help the economy to recover; others pointed out that more clarity on guidelines was required as respective state governments and the local administration would have a wider say in this.

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QSR chain operator KFC India said the new guidelines would help people resume their regular life. Assuring safety and well being of its customers, the company said that it had modified the restaurant designs to reinforce social distancing, and trained team members according to the new norms.

“We have planned for ways in which consumers can enjoy their favourite KFC food with friends and

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Emirates Airline Says Must Cut Jobs Over Virus Crisis

Emirates Airline said Sunday it will have to cut jobs after being forced to ground its fleet during the coronavirus crisis, but did not specify the extent of the layoffs.

The Dubai carrier, the largest in the Middle East, announced in March temporary cuts of between 25 percent and 50 percent in basic salaries for most employees after halting its operations.

It employs a workforce that is around 100,000-strong, with a fleet of 270 wide-bodied aircraft.

“We reviewed all possible scenarios in order to sustain our business operations, but we have come to the conclusion that we unfortunately have to say goodbye to a few of the wonderful people that worked with us,” the airline said in a statement.

“We continuously are reassessing the situation and will have to adapt to this transitional period,” it said.

“We do not view this lightly, and the company is doing everything possible to protect jobs wherever we can.”

Emirates said on May 10 that it would take at least 18 months for travel demand to return to “a semblance of normality”, even after reporting bumper pre-pandemic profits.

The carrier had suspended flights on March 22 before resuming some services two weeks later.


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UP asks developers to absorb migrant workers in expressway projects

The government today directed the private developers of the flagship Purvanchal Expressway, estimated to cost Rs 23,000 crore, to provide employment to lockdown-hit migrant workers returning from other states.

The construction of the 340-km Expressway is on in full swing after the suspension of civil works for a few weeks due to the

Eight different packages of the infra projects are being developed by five private companies, namely, Gayatri Projects, PNC Infratech, GR Infra Project, Apco Infratech and Oriental Structural Engineering.

Chairing a review meeting in Lucknow, nodal agency UP Expressway Industrial Development Authority (UPEIDA) chief executive officer (CEO) Awanish Kumar Awasthi, who is also UP additional chief secretary, asked the developers to expedite the project and to actively absorb the migrants in civil works. He instructed these companies to promptly submit bills to UPEIDA, so that payments could be released on time.

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Involving the acquisition of 4,332 hectares, the Expressway will traverse 9 districts viz. Lucknow, Barabanki, Faizabad, Ambedkarnagar, Amethi, Sultanpur, Azamgarh, Mau and Ghazipur.


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Shipping Corporation Q4 net profit jumps 83%, income surges to Rs 1,392 cr

(SCI) on Saturday reported an 83 per cent jump in its consolidated profit at Rs 111 crore for the quarter ended March 31 (Q4FY20).

The state-owned company had clocked a consolidated profit of Rs 60.68 crore for the corresponding quarter in 2018-19, it said in a regulatory filing. Its total consolidated income surged to Rs 1,391.85 crore during the quarter under review as against Rs 1,068.62 crore in the year-ago period.

Total expenses were higher at Rs 1,284.35 crore during the quarter as against Rs 1,031.48 crore a year ago.

For the full fiscal, the company reported a consolidated profit of Rs 336.48 crore. It had recorded a loss of Rs 62.66 crore during 2018-19.

The group had assessed the overall impact of the situation in March 2020 itself and had taken effective measures to minimise disruption to operations and ensure that the business remained viable during the virus outbreak and thereafter, it said.

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Revenue for the year ended March 31, 2020, was not affected by

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F1 Season To Open In Austria After Government Backs Spielberg Double Act

Formula One’s truncated coronavirus-hit season will finally get underway with the Austrian Grand Prix on July 5, the Austrian government announced on Saturday.

The Spielberg circuit has also been given the green light to stage a second race the following weekend.

“The two Formula One races on July 5 and 12 at Spielberg will be staged without spectators,” announced Austrian Health Minister Rudolf Anschober.

He said that the two races had been approved after F1 organisers “had presented a complete and professional plan” to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The F1 season was thrown into chaos with the cancellation of the traditional curtain-raising Australian Grand Prix in March only hours before practice was due to begin.

Melbourne was one of 10 races either cancelled or postponed, yet F1 boss Chase Carey believes a 15-18 race season is still possible.

But Silverstone’s hopes of also staging back-to-back races after Austria are in the balance after the British government insisted that all arrivals in the country undergo a two-week quarantine period.

Anschober added a caveat to Saturday’s statement, insisting the season’s belated restart would only go ahead if all the health assurances made by F1 were fulfilled.

“In addition to strict hygiene

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