Karnataka govt allows bars, pubs to resume services from today with 50% capacity

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These establishments have been instructed to strictly follow the MHA guidelines and standard operating procedures for COVID-19

Bengaluru: The Karnataka government has allowed bars, pubs, clubs, and restaurants in the state to serve liquor from Tuesday with 50 percent of their seating capacity.

There were restrictions on serving liquor since March when the lockdown was enforced first, and until now only takeaways were allowed at these establishments.

They have been instructed to strictly follow the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for Covid-19.

The order by the Excise Commissioner said such relaxations were already in place in states like Assam, Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan.

It also cites the government’s revenue as one of the reasons for the decision.

The Karnataka government had in May allowed the sale of liquor through MRP outlets.

This was followed by permission for bars, microbreweries, pubs, and others to clear out their stocks, but in-house service was not allowed.

Though many of these establishments have welcomed the government’s decision, they also have expressed apprehensions that it may take a while for the business to pick up with the pandemic situation still around.

The manager of one such bar said, “it will take a few days to restart the service. We are preparing for it with required stocks, we have also asked our staff, who were out without work to get back.. we need to train them with safety protocols that need to be followed.”

Also, the city’s main markets, KR Market and Kalasipalya market that had remained shut for some time now following a spike in coronavirus cases in the city have been allowed to start their operations from Tuesday.

Officials have said they have taken necessary precautionary measures and marshals have been deployed to check violation of norms and protocols to contain COVID-19 spread.

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