Tipplers in Karnataka , Maharashtra and Assam , waiting with bated breath for liquor shops to open amid the Covid – 19 lockdown, finally got the good news on Saturday, while those in Kerala were disappointed by their state government.
After days, standalone liquor shops in Karnataka have been allowed open in all districts from Monday. In redzone districts, however, only outlets outside the containment zones may reopen.
“Liquor shops will be allowed to open in red, orange and green zones provided they are not located in malls or shopping complexes. There was some confusion and it has been cleared by the Center, ”excise minister H Nagesh said, a day after the Union health ministry issued detailed guidelines on this. Pubs, bars and restaurants are not allowed to sell liquor even over the counter.
In Maharashtra, sale of liquor will be allowed with certain conditions in all zones barring containment areas and shops in markets and malls.
The Assam government, meanwhile, allowed reopening of liquor outlets across the state selling IMFL and country spirit with immediate effect.
The excise department notification stated that owners of the shops have to comply with the social distancing norms and other guidelines issued by the Union home ministry . Assam government had earlier allowed the opening of wine shops from April 12 But had to stop it after three days following a directive from the Center.
Kerala, interestingly, decided to go back on its earlier attempts to allow liquor sale even after the center lifted its ban. “None need to worry. It’s only temporary measure, ”CM Pinarayi Vijayan said after his daily Covid – review meeting.
(With inputs from agencies)
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