Goa: Restaurants, bars allowed to reopen at half capacity

The Goa government has extended curfew in the state till July 12, but has allowed relaxations.

While the Goa government Sunday extended curfew in the state till July 12, it allowed restaurants and bars to resume operations at 50 per cent capacity, functioning from 7 am to 9 pm.

The move comes a month-and-a-half after restaurants and bars were ordered to down their shutters amid a rise in Covid-19 cases. While restaurant kitchens were allowed to operate during the curfew for deliveries and takeaways, they were prohibited from serving guests.

On Sunday, Goa had 2,087 active cases of Covid-19, the test positivity rate was 3.55 percent and four Covid deaths were reported.

Once restaurants and bars reopen, tourism in the state may start to look up.

With the tourism and hospitality sector taking a major hit once again during the second wave of the pandemic, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant had said the government would consider resuming tourism activities after it completes its Covid-19 vaccination drive. Sawant had said the government aims to inoculate the entire adult population of Goa with at least the first dose by July 30.

As part of the Covid restrictions still in place, Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code will be in force, prohibiting the gathering of more than five persons without the permission of the district administration.

Collector and District Magistrate of South Goa Ruchika Katyal and that of North Goa Ajit Roy, however, issued fresh orders on Sunday evening, stating that the public hearing scheduled for the Draft Coastal Zone Management Plan on July 8 “shall be permitted till completion of hearing at the venue authorised subject to compliance of Covid appropriate behavior.”

Shops, including those in municipal markets and malls, will be open from 7 am to 6 pm, instead of 3 pm according to the previous orders, and will be allowed to home-deliver their goods all day. Hotels and hospitality services that were earlier allowed to host and serve guests in-house will continue to operate in the same way.

Medical stores and pharmacies, ATMs and banks, construction activities, and government offices, which had no restrictions earlier, will continue to operate as usual.

While weddings were earlier allowed with 50 attendees, the fresh orders have allowed upto 100 people, or half the capacity of the venue, whichever is less.

Educational institutions, casinos, gyms, spas, cinema halls, auditoria, indoor sports complexes will remain closed. Religious places will be closed to public but custodians of these places will be allowed to go about their activities as usual.

The Goa government has advised all non-government employers to continue to plan for and promote work from home.

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