Chennai: The Tamil Nadu government permitted bars attached to the Tami Nadu State Marketing Corporation Limited (TASMAC) to reopen from Tuesday by adhering to Covid-19 precautions.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, these bars were shut down since March 17. The TN government issued a standard operating procedure with a list of precautionary measures including checking saturation levels using digital pulse oximeters at the bar entrance. Only 50% of the seating capacity has been allowed and masks and social distancing are mandated for employees and patrons.

"Respiratory etiquette involving the strict practice of covering one's mouth and nose while coughing or sneezing with a tissue or handkerchief besides prohibiting spitting inside the bars", it said.

About 3,000 bars attached to nearly 5,300 TASMAC liquor shops are operating across Tamil Nadu, of which the Chennai region comprising the city, Chengalpet, Kanchipuram and Thiruvallur districts have around 650 bars.

Liquor sales from TASMAC are a major source of revenue for the state’s exchequer which was Rs 31,158 crore during the financial year 2018-19.