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Covid impact: New Year in Mumbai to be heralded at Thailand time

IANS | December 23, 2020 11:53 AM

MUMBAI: In view of the night curfew implemented in all municipalities in Maharashtra, hoteliers plan to ring in the New Year at 10.30 p.m. on December 31 which will coincide with Thailand's time of stepping into 2021, officials said here on Wednesday.

The Hotel & Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has advised all its member hotels, restaurants and resorts in the state to gear up for early celebrations on New Year Eve to skirt the new Covid-19 protocols including the 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew till January 5.

Accordingly, patrons and guests will herald the New Year around 90 minutes prior to the clock striking the 00:00 hrs in Mumbai, given the time difference between the two countries.

"As in the past, Mumbai will have its New Year celebrations this year also, albeit a little earlier. The government is doing its best to keep citizens safe and we understand the intent behind the decision, " said HRAWI President Sherry Bhatia.

However, since Mumbai is known to work hard and party hard, they will get their celebrations while ensuring all Covid-19 safety protocols are fully adhered to.

"The move is probably even better as people will get to be at home at midnight and celebrate the New Year Eve with their families, near and dear ones, " Bhatia said.

HRAWI Senior Vice-President Pradeep Shetty said that most member-establishments planAto "align celebrations with Thailand" and may host virtual celebrations synchronized with them for the benefit of the patrons.

"We want to put behind the last eight months and look forward with optimism for the remaining week left in 2020... We have braved the storm, putting the worst behind us, and nothing is going to dampen our spirits. We shall emerge stronger, " said Shetty.

Hoteliers will go out of their way to welcome people in Mumbai, Thane, Pune, Nagpur, Nashik and other major cities which are currently under a night curfew to "come out with hope and enjoy" the final celebratory event of the eventful year.

The curfew restrictions in Mumbai passed off peacefully on the night of December 22-23 with no untoward incidents amidst strict police vigil.

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