Over six weeks after they were ordered to close, liquor shops in Pune district will reopen from Monday, barring those located in containment zones in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad cities, officials said.
As per the revised guidelines issued for the extended lockdown of two weeks, the state government had kept out Pune, Pimpri Chinchwad, Mumbai and Malegaon cities — which are among the worst affected cities by COVID-19 — out of the relaxation given to other cities classified under red, orange and green zones to open non-essential commodities’ shops. On Sunday, however, the guidelines were revised to grant relaxation to these cities as well as keeping out only ‘demarcated containment zones’ in these cities out of the relaxations.
Pune district Collector Naval Kishore Ram confirmed that standalone liquor shops will open in Pune district but only outside ‘containment areas’.
“Standalone liquor shops outside containment areas will be allowed to open. Operators will have to ensure that not more than five persons gather at the counter at a time and social distancing is maintained,” said Ram.
There are about 2,500 small and big liquor shops in Pune apart from about 300 countryliquor shops. All of these were ordered to shut shop on March 20 until March 31. Later, the closure order was extended until April 14 and further until April 30. On April 30, it was amended to say that the shops will remain closed until further orders. Bars and clubs will continue to remain shut.
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