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Opening Of Liquor Shops In Maharashtra During Lockdown: Final Decision Only After Strict Regulations Are Prepared

Stores selling alcohol are closed in Maharashtra since late last month when the coronavirus-enforced lockdown was implemented

Mumbai: Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope gave an update on opening of liquor shops in the state saying the final decision on the opening of wine stores during the coronavirus-enforced lockdown will be announced only after strict regulations are prepared. “Although liquor shops are not included in the list of exemptions from lockdown, the final decision will be announced only after strict regulations are prepared,” Tope tweeted in Marathi.

According to news agency PTI, Rajesh Tope had earlier said there should not be any ban on liquor shops in the state if social distancing measures, in place to curb the COVID-19 spread, are strictly followed.

Rajesh Tope@rajeshtope11

लॉकडावूनमधून सूट देण्यात आलेल्या यादीत मद्यविक्री दुकानांचा समावेश नसला तरी याबाबत काटेकोरपणे नियमावली तयार करूनच अंतिम तो निर्णय जाहीर केला जाईल.#CoronaVirusUpdate2,518Twitter Ads info and privacy493 people are talking about this

Liquor shops are closed in the state since late last month when the coronavirus-enforced lockdown was implemented.

“If social distancing is properly maintained, there should not be any ban on liquor shops,” he had reportedly said.

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Tope was replying to a question on the state government not clarifying, in its April 17 notification, whether liquor shops will be allowed to remain open after it permitted resumption of industrial and business activities in non-coronavirus hotspots.

However, senior officials in the excise department categorically nixed any such possibility. Liquor shops are closed as per the orders issued under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and the Disaster Management Act, 2005, because they do not fall in the category of essential commodities, a senior excise official told PTI.

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