Karnataka Lockdown 5.0: Malls, hotels to open on June 8; state for clarity on liquor sale | Bengaluru News

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BENGALURU: The Karnataka government on Sunday notified the ministry of home affairs (MHA) guidelines for Unlock 1.0 by deciding to open religious places, hotels and shopping malls on June 8. Namma Metro services, theatres and opening of schools will be decided at a later date, as prescribed by the MHA.
Since there’s no clarity whether hotels attached with bars can serve liquor in the first phase, the government has sought the Centre’s view on the subject. While the MHA has allowed resumption of hotel service, it has categorically said a decision on reopening bars will be taken in Phase III.
The guidelines also say: “Hotels, restaurants and other hospitality services will be allowed to reopen in Phase I effective June 8.” The lack of clarity on the definition of ‘other hospitality services’ has put the state in a quandary.
“We believe that the category — ‘other hospitality services’ — includes serving liquor at hotels. But the MHA guidelines differentiate bars from hotels. We need to check with the MHA before drawing up the state’s SOP (standard operating procedure) for the hospitality sector,” said a senior government official.
Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Sunday held a review meeting with senior officials, following which chief secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar issued an order with broad outlines for Unlock 1.0 based on the MHA guidelines. “SOPs are being prepared for individual sectors and they will be released before June 8,” said the chief secretary.
This has left a lot of traders and hoteliers, preparing to resume business and laying down protocols in compliance with the covid norms, in uncertainty. “It would be odd if liquor consumption is not allowed in star hotels while food is being served. We hope the government will provide clarity on this,” said K Syamaraju, president of South India Hotels and Restaurants Association.
With religious places set to open on June 8, the muzrai department has prepared its guidelines and will finetune them before June 8, said muzrai commissioner Rohini Sindhuri.
The government said it reserves right to allow people from high-risk states, and an order to this effect will be issued later.
Sevas, currently provided online, will continue after June 8 also, and devotees will be allowed only ‘darshan’ after Unlock 1.0 kicks in. A department officer said devotees won’t be allowed to offer flowers or receive prasada or tirtha in the first few weeks. “Guidelines for crowd management and distance markers in queues will be issued soon,” the officer said.

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