Dining-in services at restaurants and bars in Kerala, which had been disallowed for months following the second wave of COVID-19, will now be permitted subject to a few conditions, the government has announced. All the customers and all the staff employees at the restaurants or bars should be fully vaccinated — that is, they should have received both the doses of COVID-19 vaccine. This is however not applicable to children below 18 years of age. Only 50% of the seating capacity in these places should be utilised, and no air conditioning shall be permitted. The state has made the move considering 90% of the population have received at least one dose of vaccination.
"Air conditioning in these places (hotels, restaurants, bars, clubs etc) shall not be permitted and windows and doors shall be kept open, as far as possible, to ensure ventilation," says a government order released by the Disaster Management Department.
The order also says that the earlier restriction on people, on moving outside their homes only if they carry certification of their vaccination or testing negative for RT-PCR, has also been removed. The order "restricting the movement of persons who have not taken at least one dose of COVID vaccine/not in possession of RT-PCR negative certificate / not in possession of COVID positive test result which is one month old etc. stands withdrawn," says the GO.
Further, indoor stadiums and pools will also be allowed for people who have taken both doses of vaccination. This includes employees as well as visitors.
The Kerala Hotel and Restaurant Association had recently held a protest in front of the Secretariat, demanding that the government allow dining-in services. Members of the association said that it was discriminatory to allow schools to open (from November 1) and not the restaurants and hotels. Only parcel service had been allowed for months.
On Saturday, Kerala reported 16,671 cases after testing 1,14,627 samples. At present, there are 1,65,154 active cases in the state.