The Kerala government on Saturday decided to reopen bars and allow hotels and restaurants to offer dine-in services to customers who are fully-vaccinated against Covid-19, PTI reported.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said there has been a decline in active Covid-19 cases in the state and over 90% of the population have received the first vaccine dose. The state battled a surge in cases in August and early-September.
“There is an 8% reduction in active cases when compared to last week,” Vijayan said. “A total of 3,50,12,467 people have been administered the vaccine till now. Out of this, 2,44,71,319 have been given the first dose while 1,05,41,148 both the doses.”
The Kerala chief minister added that there was no need to continue with restrictions on dining, PTI reported.
However, bars and restaurants will have to follow certain rules. The establishments can only operate at 50% of their seating capacity, and only fully vaccinated customers will be allowed to dine in. Air conditioners cannot be used and doors and windows will need to be kept open for better ventilation.
Staff members at the establishments also have to be fully inoculated, Vijayan added.
Swimming pools and indoor stadiums in Kerala can also reopen, News18 reported. Only fully-vaccinated people will be allowed to use these facilities as well.
The state is also preparing to reopen schools and colleges in November. The government has directed the health and education departments to frame detailed guidelines for the reopening, The Times of India reported.
Kerala registered 16,671 new Covid-19 cases and 120 deaths on Saturday. Its overall tally since the beginning of the pandemic in January last year rose to 4,61,39,37, while the toll went up to 24,438.