The move follows a cluster of 85 cases at the ITC Grand Chola


The Greater Chennai Corporation has ordered COVID-19 testing of all employees of luxury hotels in the city, following reports of a cluster at ITC Grand Chola.

Chennai Corporation Deputy Commissioner (Health) S. Divyadharshini said the civic body will complete COVID-19 testing of more than 25 luxury hotels in two days. The civic body started testing all luxury hotels on Saturday. The testing of all employees will be completed by Sunday.

The Greater Chennai Corporation tested 609 employees of ITC Grand Chola and 85 of them tested positive for COVID-19. “We have directed ITC Grand Chola to cancel all banquets for 10 days. We will do saturation testing at all luxury hotels,” said Ms. Divyadharshini.

The civic body has issued an advisory to all luxury hotels to maintain physical distancing norms as per standard operating procedure.

Chennai Corporation officials in all the 15 zones have directed hotels to follow the regulations pertaining to the number of persons permitted for events. Currently, the number of persons permitted for a banquet depends on the seating capacity of the hall. According to officials, the number of persons should not exceed 50% of the seating capacity of the hall.

The normal seating capacity of a 9,000 sq ft hall is estimated at 1,000, with each individual getting 9 sq ft of space. Owing to COVID-19 restrictions, event organisers have been asked to permit only 500 persons in a 9,000 sq ft hall, instead of 1,000. Officials will collect a fine of ₹5000 from event organisers and the hall owner for violations of physical distancing norms.

The fine amount for individuals violating physical distancing norms is ₹500 during such events.

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