Kerala bars, wine parlours, toddy shops to reopen

Kerala bars, wine parlours, toddy shops to reopen

Representative image: iStock Photo

After a gap of over eight months, bars, beer and wine parlours, and toddy shops, among others, in Kerala are set to re-open bringing cheer to consumers.

The state government on Monday, after examining the matter in detail, decided to allow with immediate effectthe re-opening of bars, beer and wine parlours, airport lounge bars and toddy shops, among others, with adherence to Covid- 19 protocol.

These should be re-opened with the conditions prescribed under the Foreign LiquorRules and safety precautions as per Covid-19 guidelines, an order by state Chief Secretary Dr Vishwas Mehta said. Permission has also been granted for the functioning of toddy shops as per the provisions in the Kerala Abkari Shops Disposal Rules. The outlets of the state Beverages Corporations and Consumerfedwould also function from 10 am to 9 pm.

The government had decided to shut all the liquor shops since March 24 after the Union Home Ministryissued guidelines for the lockdown in view of the pandemic.

After Unlock 3 guidelines came into force, the government had allowed the sale of liquor as a takeaway from special retail outlets following the virtual queue system. It has also said licenced clubs to sell liquor and food to their members as a parcel with strict restrictions on the number of persons.

Excise Commissioner had recently recommended re-opening of bars in view of the fact that various states had given permission for opening of hotels with bars as per the guidelines of the Union Home Ministry.

Apart from 598 hotels with bars and 357 beer and wine parlours, there are 301 government-run liquor outlets in the state.