OYO to restart operations next week as Covid-19 lockdown restrictions ease

OYO to restart operations next week as Covid-19 lockdown restrictions ease
Photo Credit: VCCircle
3 Jun, 2020

In keeping with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), budget hospitality chain OYO will restart operations from June 8, group CEO Ritesh Agarwal announced on networking platform LinkedIn. 

Hotels, hospitality chains and dine-out services in restaurants have been closed since the Covid-19 lockdown was announced on March 24.

In a video, CEO Rohit Kapoor, stated that the properties listed with OYO will be given a ‘sanitised’ tag on the app for following guidelines on cleaning the property ahead of reopening. 

Hotels will be updated on a minimum touch Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for reducing contact with customers during check-in and check-out, following hygiene standards while cooking food and providing room service, and following guidelines when a customer tests positive for Covid-19, he added.

It was not immediately clear how many of OYO’s 18,000-plus properties will be functional from June 8. Specific queries sent to the company did not elicit a response till the time of publishing the story.

According to the new guidelines issued by the MHA on May 30, shopping malls, hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services located outside containment zones will be allowed to operate from June 8. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is also expected to issue SOPs for various sectors to ensure safe practices. 

However, the permission to operate these businesses are subject to state guidelines. In its phased reopening of businesses, Maharashtra is yet to allow shopping malls and hospitality sector services to resume operations.

The hospitality and travel sector, including online travel aggregators, have been among the worst hit from the Covid-19 pandemic. After trimming its people costs by laying off close to 2,400 employees in India, SoftBank-backed OYO said that it will also put some employees on furlough in the country, while laying off 360 employees as part of its US operations. 

Online travel agency MakeMyTrip also laid off 350 employees in the international travel planning vertical due to restrictions on travel earlier this week.