Vijayawada: The government of Andhra Pradesh has decided to open AP-State Beverages Corporation Limited retail liquor shops, both in the rural and urban areas except in containment zones/clusters and shops located in shopping malls from May 4th, the government said.
However, the state government have set few guidelines with regard to its functioning. It has directed shops to open at 11 AM and closed at 7 PM. 'All the liquor shops should follow social distancing so that customers make use of the business hours without any health risk. And the sale personnel shall wear masks and keep sanitizers for use in the shops, the government said. The APBCL has been shut since the lockdown was announced by the Central government following the CoronaVirus outbreak.
Besides opening of APSBCL retail shops, the government has also decided to hike the price of liquor by 25 percent as a measure to curb the sale.
The state's prohibition and excise department have set the following guidelines:
1 . Not more than 5 customers shall be allowed at a time, duly maintaining social distancing
2. For the purpose there shall be 5 circles drawn in front of the liquor shop and 6 feet distance between 2 circles.
3. Shops shall display social distancing guidelines/ norms for sale of liquor and cause them to be enforced strictly.
4. Shops shall also ensure help of local police as well as additional security guards from the existing service providers.
5. In case of excess number of customers gathered at the shop, the matter may be informed to the local police and the shops may be shut down temporarily to maintain law and order strictly. After ensuring that there is no rush or stampede, the shops can be reopened.
6. The collectors shall inform the public on means of taken up sale of liquor.
8. In no case bars, clubs APTDC liquor license shall be allowed to function.