THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With COVID-19 cases coming down in Kerala and over 90 per cent of the targeted population having been administered the first dose of the vaccine, the State government on Saturday eased restrictions and decided to open up restaurants and bars for the public with riders.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who spoke to reporters after a high-level COVID-19 evaluation meeting, said indoor stadia and swimming pools can function with fully vaccinated staff.
He said the government has decided to ease restrictions as over 90 per cent of the targeted population have been administered with the first dose of the vaccine.
"There is an eight per cent reduction in active cases when compared to last week. A total of 3,50,12,467 people have been administered the vaccine till now. Out of this, 2,44,71,319 have been given the first dose while 1,05,41,148 both the doses," Vijayan said.
He said there were only 22 lakh people who were yet to receive the first dose.
"In the current scenario, there is no need to continue the restrictions imposed on dining facilities in restaurants," Vijayan said.
He said those who have taken both the doses can avail themselves of the in-house dine-in facility at restaurants and bars.
"Only 50 per cent of the seating capacity of restaurants and bars should be used. All staff should be fully vaccinated and AC must not be used and doors and windows should be kept open," Vijayan said.
The State government has issued an order in this regard which says the restrictions on entry into the establishments shall not be made applicable to those below 18 years of age as they are not eligible for vaccination at present.
Kerala reported 16,671 new COVID-19 cases and 120 deaths on Saturday, taking the infection count to 46,13,964 and the death toll to 24,248.