'Guests and foreigners' not allowed at Mumbai's elite clubs
"We have also told members to be vigilant and not come to the club in case they have a cold or cough, or are feeling unwell. This is simply to exercise caution," said Pundole
You are best without your guest, clubs across the city are telling their members, as they seek to restrict numbers in an effort to combat the spread of coronavirus. Guest fees are a big earner for most clubs across the city—from R100 to R200 as entrance charges on premium weekends, the fees can climb, when it comes to accessing restaurants within clubs. Yet, most clubs are ignoring the money spinner.
Atul Maru, honorary secretary, National Sports Club of India (NSCI) at Haji Ali, said, "Since the swimming pool and gym is closed, footfalls are down at the club in any case. We signalled our intention to join in any containment effort by cancelling a recent Holi event, which is dubbed as SoBo's biggest colour party, with at least 4,000 guests." The NSCI has also cancelled its Bumper Housie event that draws a crowd of at least 2,500 people. Another big draw, the club's Treasure Hunt, which sees groups gather for a briefing, before scattering for an exciting hunt, has also been shelved. Other sports facilities like tennis and badminton will continue, "as we think that exercise is a good way to build immunity".
Colaba's Radio Club, with its jetty as its USP, has sanitisers dotting every facility. Prakash Mirchandani, joint honorary secretary said, "All our staff has been told to wear masks and this includes housekeeping and waiters." The music is on low key at the club with Friday band nights and DJ nights also cancelled. Mirchandani added, "We have residential rooms at the club. Only Indian nationals can stay there. Foreigners won't be allowed."
The Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC), apex body of racing in Western India, has cancelled Mumbai racing from today, until further notice, following a meeting at the Mahalaxmi headquarters on Saturday morning. Betting operations have also stopped. The tony racing club's neighbour, Willingdon Sports Club, located opposite Mahalaxmi-Haji Ali also has "no guests, no swimming pool, gym closed" notifications.
The Cricket Club of India at Churchgate has also shuttered the gym and pool. "We are keeping some sub-committee meetings essential to the smooth functioning of the club," said Naval Pundole, executive committee member. "We have also told members to be vigilant and not come to the club in case they have a cold or cough, or are feeling unwell. This is simply to exercise caution," said Pundole.
The Malabar Hill Club too, has acceded to all government directives. "Those who wish to stay in the rooms in the club have been told to fill in a declaration form, about where they have travelled in the last 14 days," said former club president, Mitil Choksi.
Fees usually charged per guest by the clubs
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