Thiruvananthapuram: Bars and beer and wine parlours, which have remained shut since March when the COVID lockdown was announced, will soon be allowed to reopen in Kerala.
A suggestion in this regard forwarded by the Commissioner of Excise to the Secretary of Taxes has been submitted to the chief minister with the recommendation of the minister of excise.
There are indications that the order to allow opening of the bars and parlours will be issued soon.
Currently, sales at bars and beer parlours are limited to parcels given through specific counters to customers who make a booking through the BevQ app.
The association of bars and hotels owners had said that this was putting a huge financial burden on them as they have had to shell out a huge amount for licence fee. It has made a request stating that bars in Kerala should be allowed to open like in other states.
The CPM state secretariat discussed the matter at its meeting on Friday and it took a decision in favour of opening the bars.
The excise commissioner has recommended that Kerala can allow bars to open as Punjab, Bengal, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have already done so. Indications are that an order will be issued saying bars can be opened by implementing the COVID guidelines.
There are 596 bars and 350 beer and wine parlours in Kerala.
Only two people on each table
Bars will stop the sales through parcels when they are allowed to open. They will be allowed to function from 9 am to 9 pm. The government's order will state that there should be a certain distance between chairs and that only two people should be allowed on each table.