Eateries in city give COVID-19 dos and don’ts the go-by

Many restaurants in Tiruchi flout 50% occupancy restriction imposed by the State government.

Many restaurants in Tiruchi flout 50% occupancy restriction imposed by the State government.

Blatant violation of COVID-19 restrictions can be seen at restaurants in Tiruchi.

According to a notification issued by the State government in January in the wake of spread in new cases, particularly the Omicron variant of COVID-19, restaurants were allowed to function with 50% of their seating capacity. They were also asked to strictly adhere to personal distancing and sanitisation norms.

Most restaurants in the city made changes in the seaingt arrangements so as to limit the number of customers. The tables that had four chairs were regornised with two. But they adhered to the restrictions only for a few days.

But it is alleged that most restaurants, eateries and bakeries in the city, particularly in Central Bus Stand and Chathiram Bus Stand areas, blatantly violate the protocol. The seating arrangements show that they have returned to their original system and are functioning to full occupancy.

Most customers do not seem to mind. They eat by sitting in close quarters, thereby exposing themselves to infection. Almost all customers, who come for dining, do not bother to wear masks. It raises genuine fear of causing infection to others if any asymptomatic and symptomatic patient sneezes.

“There is no dip in the number of customers even though fresh cases are rising. If we enforce 50% seat capacity restrictions, customers have to stand in queue, which poses the danger of causing infection,” says a manager of a hotel opposite to Central Bus Stand.

Customers point out that except a few restaurants most of them do not provide sanitisers. Moreover, the restaurant owners show little interest in maintaining the toilets well.

“The condition of toilets at most restaurants around the Central Bus Stand is appalling. It suggests that they are cleaned once in a while. It is not the best way to maintain the washrooms particularly when the airborne infections are rising at an alarming rate,” says K. Janarthanan, a civic activist.

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Printable version | May 27, 2022 9:54:20 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/eateries-in-city-give-covid-19-dos-and-donts-the-go-by/article38310062.ece