Extending the lockdown for the third time, Centre has allowed some relief to businesses in all zones - red, orange and green. Under staggered relaxation in lockdown restrictions that come in effect from May 4, government has allowed liquor stores and paan shops to reopen in all three zones.
"Sale of liquor, paan, tobacco to be allowed after ensuring minimum six-feet social distancing; not more than five persons at one time at shop," Union Home Ministry said in its guidelines for lockdown extension that will come into effect from May 4.
However, they will not be allowed to operate in containment zones. Alcohol and paan shops in malls or marketing complexes will also remain closed, even if they are outside containment zones. Red zones are COVID-19 hotspots, orange zones are areas where limited number of coronavirus cases has been detected and green zones are regions with no cases. Containment zones are localities in red and orange zones that have been cordoned off due to high number of COVID-19 cases and only essential activities are permitted in these zones.
Is your local liquor shop open?
If your nearest liquor store falls in a containment area, then it will remain closed till situation improves. Also, if your local alcohol shop is located in a mall or a marketing complex, then again it will not be allowed to open during the extended lockdown. 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, reports said. All districts in the national capital have been classified as red zones, and there are 96 containment zones in the city as of May 3. This means, liquor stores in these areas will not be allowed to open.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra will keep liquor stores in Mumbai, Mumbai (Suburban), Thane, and Pune districts closed, but will allow those in 10 other hotspot districts to reopen.
What time will the liquor stores open and close?
Union Home Ministry has allowed non-essential shops to remain open till 7 pm only. This time slot also applies to liquor stores across the country. Keep this in mind if you are planning to visit your nearby alcohol shop.
Do's and don'ts for your lockdown booze run
Home Ministry has specified that only five persons will be allowed in a shop at one time and social distancing norms have to be followed. Make sure to follow these guidelines for your and others' well being. 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.