As the government announced partial relaxations at the onset of lockdown 3.0, incidents of flouting social distancing protocol, particularly at liquor shops, came to light. Observing the situation, Mumbai Police has directed the stand-alone shops to provide tokens to its costumers in order to avoid crowding at the counter. Taking to Twitter, the police also warned that relaxations may be reconsidered if the social distancing norm is flouted.
Lockdown has its rules and exceptions to it have it too. Starting tomorrow, stand alone shops will issue tokens for customers to avoid crowding at counter. If #SocialDistancing is flouted, this service may have to be reconsidered #MaintainSoberDistance #Lockdown3— Mumbai Police (@MumbaiPolice) May 4, 2020
With the partial relaxations in effect and allowing the liquor shops to reopen, several incidents came to light where people were seen flouting lockdown protocol and flooding the premises having liquor shops in the hope of buying alcohol which they had been deprived of for over 40 days.
Observing the frequent violations in places of liquor shops, the Delhi government has imposed "Special Corona Fees" of 70% tax on the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of the liquor, which will be applicable from Tuesday morning. The move will boost the government revenue, which has been hit hard due to the Coronavirus-forced lockdown, but there will be a steep rise in the prices of liquor bottles at the retail level.
Also, the Delhi Police's Special Branch on Monday prepared a report and suggested that the timing for sale of alcohol be extended to avoid crowding at the outlets.
An official said an alcohol vendor had to be closed in Mayur Vihar in east Delhi as people failed to maintain social distancing norms. Similar cases were reported from the north and central Delhi.
"Two liquor shops opened in Kotla village, Mayur Vihar and Khichripur in east Delhi between 9 to 10 am. However, they were closed within 15 minutes after people did not follow police instructions. No marshal was deployed in these shops,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (East) Jasmeet Singh said adding people barged inside one of the shops in Khichadipur to buy liquor.