Days after announcing a ban on flower vendors from outside the state in the wake of Covid-19 threat, the government has decided to reverse its decision and allow them to sell their flowers in the state during the Onam festival period.
The government made the U-turn after it became clear that banning the flower vendors alone did not make any sense with authorities giving permission to transport all other goods to the state. “The decision had severely hit several street-side vendors who hoped that the festival season would bring them some relief,” a government source said.
The order reversing the previous decision was issued by chief secretary Vishwas Mehta on Thursday. The order classifies the flower vendors and has issued specific advisories to each category. With regards to the freight transporters of flowers, the government has said that they should mandatorily wear masks and practice cough and sneeze hygiene.
They should ensure that they do not mix with other traders and florists, besides following advisories on hand washing. The order also gives specific instructions to those participating in arranging Pookalams. The order advises that as much as possible, they should avoid crowding. If at all they are participating, they should take turns and not do it collectively. The participants have also been asked not to share materials, including flowers between them while participating in such events.
The government had stated earlier that flower arrangements in institutions should be avoided. Flowers are brought to the state in large quantities during Onam from Tamil Nadu, Andhra and Karnataka.