Watch | When liquor shops reopened in several Indian States

A video on the opening of liquor shops after the easing of the COVID-19 lockdown in India

Updated - May 11, 2020 10:31 am IST

Published - May 10, 2020 11:52 am IST

Alcohol shops across States began opening their shutters from May 4 after the easing of India's COVID-19 lockdown. Serpentine queues marked the reopening of liquor vending outlets.

Wearing of masks was made mandatory to line up at the outlets. But COVID-19 safety protocols like physical distancing and the wearing of masks were thrown to the wind.

Protests were held in several places against the reopening of liquor outlets.

Tasmac officials initially mandated that Aadhaar must be produced to buy liquor in T.N. which was given up later owing to heavy rush. The Madras High Court on May 8 directed the State government to close all 3,850 Tasmac liquor shops citing overcrowding. It however, permitted the government to introduce online sale of liquor and home delivery.

In Mumbai, a day after they opened, the BMC chief ordered the closing of liquor shops due to customers ignoring physical distancing norms.

West Bengal allowed standalone liquor shops to reopen in green, orange and red zones, but not in containment areas.

In Delhi, 150 out of around 800 liquor shops were permitted to be opened on May 4. The Delhi government on May 7 launched the e-token system to buy liquor .

The Karnataka government announced a steep hike in the excise duty on Indian-made Liquor, ranging from 17% to 25%.

While Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan said the government would allow the sale of legal liquor at a later stage.

Industry bodies representing the alcohol sector had previously written to the government to consider opening of wine shops. Indian States collectively suffered a revenue loss of about ₹700 crore a day owing to no sales of alcoholic beverages.

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