Bengaluru, April 15, 2020: Anxious tipplers who were expecting the government to ease restrictions on sale of liquor and alcoholic beverages after the first phase of coronavirus lockdown ended on April 14 will now have to wait till April 20.
The excise department issued an order on Tuesday, banning the sale of liquor till April 20. Earlier, sale of liquor was banned by the department till April 14 midnight. The order came after much speculation about the possibility of liquor stores opening from Wednesday.
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi pushing for more stringent lockdown measures, the department - which was keen on selling liquor at MSIL and CL-2 license MRP outlets - issued the order shutting all liquor shops.
Excise minister H Nagesh said that the department cannot pursue proposals for sale of liquor now. "The PM has said that we must strictly follow the lockdown. So, I don’t think we can propose (sale of liquor) now. It’ll be difficult to control the crowd and ensure social distancing at liquor outlets. So, I think it’ll be difficult to relax this till April 20 at least," he said.
On Monday, authorities appeared to be keen on resuming the sale of liquor and photographs of preparations for the sale in front of MSIL outlets was shared widely on social media.