People in huge numbers started queuing up outside liquor shops in Delhi from early morning on Monday. The queues were seen as early as 7.30 am in some parts of the national capital where around 150 liquor shops were reopened as the lockdown entered the third phase.
Several visuals are coming in from different parts of the country today, especially Delhi, where people were seen queueing up in large numbers while flouting social distancing norms.
As per MHA, liquor shops and paan shops are allowed to function in green and orange zones as well as to those located outside hotspots or containment areas even in the red zones, but with certain conditions. The shops are allowed to open while making sure that six feet of distancing is maintained from each other and not more than five persons are present at one time.
“Liquor stores and pan shops will be allowed to function in green zones while ensuring a minimum six feet distance from each other and ensuring that not more than five persons are present at one time at the shop,” the statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said.
Meanwhile in Delhi, police was forced to shut down one such liquor shop in Jheel Chowk area due to overcrowding. Crowds gathered in huge numbers and refused to abide by the social distancing norms.
The ministry has said that the “consumption of liquor, paan, gutka, tobacco etc is not allowed in public places.”
Liquor shops and paan and tobacco outlets would be allowed to open in green, orange, and certain rural belts of red zones but not in shops located in malls, marketing complexes, and in containment areas.
The government has divided over 700 districts in the country into red, green, orange, and containment zones depending on the number of cases of COVID-19.
Delhi government had said that around 150 shops in the national capital are being opened up from Monday for the third phase of the lockdown. Delhi is in the Red Zone with over 4,549 coronavirus cases.
India’s coronavirus tally has touched 42,533, including 1,373 deaths and 11,707 cured or discharged. Though cases are rising every day, the government claims it has been able to curb coronavirus spread in most parts of India.