According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, liquor and tobacco shops have been allowed to reopen in orange and green zones, amidst Lockdown 3.O; this being among the other relaxations allowed.
A lot of states have allowed the Government-run Liquor shops to reopen and function from 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; given they follow the social distancing norms. Also, they were advised to bring the necessary change in cash to buy. The cost of alcohol has been increased and the raised rates have been implemented since today. They also declared that customers without masks would not be sold any alcohol. As per the MHA guidelines, public consumption of alcohol is not allowed. But despite continuous requests from the
Government and NGOs, and various other sources, chaos ensued at the shops.
The State Governments have employed Policemen at the shops, and local volunteers have also taken part in maintaining the people. Despite their efforts, the people have not followed social distancing.
The liquor shops have been opened after quite a long time, more than 40 days, and all the alcohol lovers couldn’t stop themselves waiting. That resulted in the mayhem.
At places, the policemen had to take charge to maintain peace, as they simply wouldn’t listen.
In Delhi, about 150 shops were opened and the people were seen standing in long queues and very close.
The neighbouring Haryana and Punjab didn’t allow any shops to open. And so did in Telangana. In Uttar Pradesh, a lot of people lined up even before the shops opened. Seeing it as a threat to social distancing, some shops remained closed.
In Karnataka, the alcohol lovers celebrated the resumption in sales loudly, hours before the shops opened.
At some places, people were seen performing ‘Special Prayers’ with flowers, camphor, incense sticks, and coconuts, long before the dawn-break.
The reopening of liquor shops is only for those that stand alone, i.e., are isolated. Shops in malls are not permitted. Also, the shops can function only in the orange and red zones.
According to the new MHA guidelines, the shops in red zones can also be opened, only those that are out of containment zones; with certain conditions- a minimum of six feet distance between people and not more than five people in the shop at a time.