Coronavirus pandemic: No cheers for tipplers! Kerala to close bars, here’s why

FE Online
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Coronavirus outbreak in Kerala: No cheers for those who plan to enjoy a drink! In a significant move, Kerala is set to close liquor stalls and bars across the state. While there will be no lock down in Kerala, bars are all going to be shut across the state, Manorama reported. A decision regarding the same was taken after a Cabinet meeting on Monday as the state government is concerned that a complete lock down may cripple its already fragile economy, the Malayalam daily reported.

Social distancing is being seen as the most significant way to fight the spread of the deadly virus. In this context, shutting down bars and liquor outlets can be viewed as the state government’s endeavour to tighten the restrictions as part of the ongoing efforts to curb the COVID-19 spread. Most liquor outlets and stalls across the state tend to be crowded and see significant footfall at most times. In the current situation, this may be a necessary measure to crack down on any such gathering that can lead to the pandemic spreading faster. There were also concerns that people standing in queue for buying liquor would endanger others and cause the Covid-19 to further spread.

Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court has already been closed and is expected to reopen on April 6. Only emergency petitions and habeas corpus writ petitions are to be heard twice a week. However, employees of the court are permitted inside the premises, so are the litigants of such emergency matters and their lawyers. No others are permitted to the court as a precautionary measure.

Given that schools, colleges and most institutions remain shut across the state, there was considerable public apprehension over keeping liquor outlets and bars have been an area of concern and had popped up in TV debates and discussions as well, besides social media platforms.

While the number of COVID-19 reported cases in Kerala are high, the state government does not want to opt for a complete shut down as the fragile economy would be hard hit by such a move, Manorama Online reported.