Thiruvananthapuram: Even while Kerala on Saturday recorded 16,671 new Covid cases after 1,14,627 samples were tested in the past 24 hours, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said since the rate of infection has come down in the state, more lockdown relaxations will be allowed as a result restaurants and bars will now be open.
The day’s test positivity rate was 14.54 per cent.
“Restaurants can now open for in-house dining but can seat only 50 per cent of its existing capacity. Bars also can open and all the employees and those coming to these places should have taken both the vaccine doses. Air conditioning should not be switched on,” said Vijayan.
Indoor stadiums and swimming pools also can start functioning.
“It’s been now 21 months since we have been going through lockdown norms. But with 91 per cent of the above aged 18 years having taken the first dose and over 39 per cent taken the second dose, only 22 lakh are left now who have not had taken the vaccine and this includes those who turned Covid positive and for such people they will have to wait for three months. We have now decided to open educational institutions also and it will function through strict guidelines,” added Vijayan.
“So far as opening of movie halls is concerned, we have to work on it with regard to seating capacity and such issues. Once we finish that, we will take it up. So some more time is required,” said Vijayan.
Saturday recorded 120 Covid deaths taking the total death tally to 24,248 in the state.