Dining in resumes in Kerala, bars open for fully vaccinated

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government on Saturday announced more relaxations including permission for dining in at restaurants, hotels, clubs and bars with 50% seating capacity and reopening of indoor stadiums and swimming pools, for people who are fully vaccinated against Covid. Soon after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced the easing of curbs, the chief secretary issued an order listing them out.

The insistence on vaccination is not applicable to people below the age of 18 as they are not eligible for it yet. The government has also withdrawn restrictions imposed on the movement of people who have not taken any dose of Covid vaccine or not in possession of positive test result not older than one month.

The high-level committee on Covid management, chaired by Pinarayi, decided in favour of the relaxations as 91% of the adult population has been administered single dose of vaccine. Besides, the number of people getting infected from a single positive case (R factor) has dropped below 1 in the past one week.

The permission for dining in comes with a few riders. People who opt for it and also the staff in hotels and restaurants should have taken two doses of Covid vaccine. Air-conditioners should not be used. Doors and 
windows should be kept open to ensure ventilation. 

Swimming pools, indoor stadiums  can reopen

Indoor stadiums and swimming pools can reopen for double-vaccinated people, provided the persons employed in these facilities have received both doses of vaccine. However, no decision has been taken on reopening cinema halls. The CM also listed out progress the state has made in overcoming the pandemic. The R factor in the state has dipped to 0.94 and the number of patients has come down by 8% this week compared to the previous week. During the September 18-24 period, the number of new Covid cases dropped by 7,000 and the rate of growth of fresh cases slumped by 5% compared to the previous week.

“It has been noticed that reinfection has come down. Last year, reinfection cases were six fold. Most of the people who get reinfected are youngsters,” Pinarayi said. The number of serious Covid cases and those requiring hospitalisation too have decreased, he added. Pinarayi said 57.6% people who died of Covid were not administered even a single dose of vaccine. While 2.44 crore people (91.62% of the eligible population) in the state received one dose of Covid vaccine, 1.05 crore (39.47%) have been administered both doses of the vaccine.

Chief secy issues order
Up to 50% seating capacity to be allowed at a time in restaurants, hotels, clubs and bars
Air-conditioners should not be used in hotels. Doors and windows should be kept open
No decision on the reopening of cinema halls
Chief Secretary V P Joy issues the government order listing out the relaxations

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