Liquor shops open in India… & partially close again as customers rush there ignoring social distancing rules (VIDEOS)
Liquor stores, which were shut down on March 25, were allowed to open again on Monday across India, as part of the government's plan of gradually relaxing the lockdown. Only standalone shops located far from specific Covid-19 hotspots were cleared to resume work, while shopping malls remain closed.
Officials ordered everyone to continue wearing masks and stay two meters apart from each other when buying alcohol. Only five people were allowed in a shop at a time. The working hours of liquor stores were also restricted, and in places like Delhi police officers were deployed to enforce social distancing.
This is not Nizamudin Markaz but outside a liquor shop in Delhi. Where is social distancing? Where is the lockdown? Where is the outrage?40,000 cases already in India & we are not serious at all. Sad! pic.twitter.com/XxWxnv66Qz— ( محمد فرمان) mohd farman (@farmankhan23456) May 4, 2020
Despite the calls to maintain physical distancing rules, the liquor shops instantly drew massive crowds. Photos and videos circulating on social media showed that in many cases people were standing very close to each other as they lined up in front of the store.
#WATCH Delhi: Long queue seen outside a liquor shop in C-Block, Vasant Vihar. Govt has allowed sale of liquor in standalone shops, neighbourhood (colony) shops or shops in residential complexes. #CoronavirusLockdownpic.twitter.com/WPWdaC6Q1c— ANI (@ANI) May 4, 2020
Some queues were described as being more than a kilometer (0.6 miles) long. In certain spots, police had to use sticks to chase away people violating the regulations.
In the end, police were forced to shut down all liquor stores in East Delhi just hours after they were reopened. The measure was taken because “social distancing norms were flouted at those shops,” East Delhi Joint Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar said.
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