The Centre has allowed liquor sale across all the country, excluding containment areas, from today. As per the government order, only standalone shops will be allowed to sell liquor; malls or liquor shops in shopping complexes will remain closed. This has prompted people to throng liquor shops in huge numbers, flouting of social distancing norms. Several retailers have also expressed concerns that their existing stock may dry-up soon. Check out timings, dos and don'ts and states' directives on the opening of liquor shops.
Do's and don'ts
- Only five persons will be allowed in a shop at one time and social distancing norms have to be followed.
- Take your own bags as this will ensure that you do not come in contact with contaminated surfaces.
- Online and digitals transactions are another way to reduce human contact and chances of contamination.
- Lastly, do not forget to wear masks or face cover while going outside
Is your local liquor shop open?
- If your nearest liquor store falls in a containment area, it will remain closed till situation improves.
- If your local alcohol shop is located in a mall or a marketing complex, it will not be open.
- Only standalone liquor shops have been allowed to operate in red, orange and green zones.
- Delhi government has asked concerned departments to provide a list of all liquor shops that conform to the Home Ministry guidelines for reopening
Liquor store opening and closing timings
- Since liquor shops are also categorised as 'non-essential shops', so in most states they will remain open from 8 am to 7pm pm only.
States/UTs and their plans
- Delhi: The Delhi government has issued an order allowing state-run liquor shops to operate from 9 am to 6.30 pm in the city, and directed deployment of marshals at these outlets to maintain social distancing. According to a government official, about 150 liquor shops have been allowed to open in accordance with the latest lockdown relaxations given by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). There are around 850 liquor shops in the city including those run by government agencies and private individuals.
- Uttar Pradesh: The liquor shops in UP will open at 10 am till 7 pm with all social distancing norms in place. More than five persons will not be allowed inside a liquor shop. Alcohol sale has not been allowed in hotels and restaurants.
- Maharashtra: While the state government has allowed sale of liquor in most districts, liquor stores in Mumbai, Mumbai (Suburban), Thane, and Pune districts will remain closed.
- Chhattisgarh: All non-restricted areas of the state will sell liquor from 8 am to 7 pm. Districts are free to choose timings based on ground situation in the respective areas. The excise department of the state is also planning to restart home delivery of liquor to curb the virus spread.
- Karnataka: The state has said only retail and state-run retail shops will be allowed to sell liquor from 9 am to 7 pm from May 4. The government has issued guidelines for liquor shops to ensure social distancing norms.
- Assam: All liquor outlets, including foreign and country-made liquor shops, will be open in the state. The state had earlier allowed the sale of liquor from April 12 but stopped after the Centre issued revised lockdown guidelines.
- Himachal Pradesh: The state government decided to waive off licence fee from liquor vends from March 22-May 3 and has permitted liquor shops to operate from May 4.
- Kerala: Despite concerns around revenue loss, the state has decided to keep liquor shops closed in the wake of the lockdown.
- Punjab: The state government will allow opening up of shops selling essential items in a staggered way for only four hours each day. However, the sale of liquor remains prohibited across all the districts.