Following a green light by the state government, bars in Kerala opened on Sunday, while restaurants were also allowed to begin dine-in services which were suspended since the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, restaurants and bars will be allowed to admit only 50 per cent of their capacity and without air conditioners.
Entry will only be allowed for fully vaccinated persons, while staff at the establishments will be permitted to work only if they have taken two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine.
While speaking to IANS, Kerala Bar Owners Association President, Sunil Kumar said: "The government's decision to allow bars to function is good as we have been suffering from the closure of the bars. While the government had allowed sale of liquor as parcel from the bar counters, allowing to sit and drink will help the sale of food and other items. After the long closure, the maintenance works have to be conducted in all these bars and hence we have incurred huge initial expenditure to make the bars functional."
The restaurant owners are also happy at the decision of the government to allow dine-in services.
Sulaiman Haji, owner of the Paris restaurant in Thalassery, Kannur district, told IANS: "From morning onwards, people have come in large numbers to our hotel to savior our delicacies which are primarily non-vegetarian. The decision of the government has been accepted by the people and this is been seen in the crowd at my hotel."
The tipplers are also happy in opening the bars and Sam Varghese, who is the owner of a building company in Thiruvananthapuram, told IANS: "I can now have some good meetings with some of my suppliers who come from other places and bars being closed down was a difficult proposition to me. "
The state has also allowed opening of swimming pools and clubs, but movie theatres were still closed.
Liberty Basheer, owner of Liberty theater group and President, Kerala movie exhibitors association, while speaking to IANS said: "If bars can reopen, schools are allowed to reopen, then why not movie halls? We are almost done with the huge expenses we have to shell out for maintenance of these theatres, including screen. We have also been paying our employees and we expect the government to take a decision to open theatres in a few days time."