Good news for liquor retailers and drinkers in Shillong as wine shops will not be shut down in the upcoming two-day lockdown being imposed by the Meghalaya government to contain the spread of COVID19.
The deputy commissioner (excise), East Khasi Hills district, in an order, issued on Saturday, said the listed wine shops in East Khasi Hills district will remain open from Monday to Saturday between 10 AM and 8 PM with effect from July 13 until further orders.
The two-day total lockdown will be enforced in the entire Shillong agglomeration on July 13 & 14.
In the order, the deputy commissioner (excise) laid down strict conditions that sale of liquor shall not exceed three litres of foreign liquor or wine, and four litres of beer per customer.
Owners of wine stores will utilize their own staff and they should personally be responsible to ensure social distancing of at least 6 feet is maintained between customers, respiratory etiquette and to strictly follow all directives and advisories issued by the health department with reference to COVID19 situation.
“Owners of wine stores should utilize their own staff and they will be responsible to ensure that no overcrowding takes place via assembly of 5 or more persons in the vicinity of the shop and to strictly avoid overcrowding and congestion in one spot, staff of a particular wine store will disperse and direct the accumulating customers to other nearby wine stores within the same locality/village. Overcrowding of customers may invite further legal action,” the order stated.
The order also said the owners of wine stores should provide hand sanitizers free of cost to customers and staff while handling the bottles and cash and the wine stores should limit their staff to the barest minimum and they are to wear masks at all time, without fail.
It also said the wine stores should extend full cooperation and comply with the arrangements of district administration, police, excise and other authorities involved by the district administration for regulation and monitoring purposes.
The deputy commissioner (excise) has also laid down conditions that only one person per household is allowed to visit the wine store for purchase, to maintain social distancing of at least six feet, respiratory etiquette and to strictly follow all directives and advisories issued by the health department with reference to COVID19 situation and customers are to avoid overcrowding and congestion in one location.
The order said violation of these instructions including physical distancing norms, non-wearing of masks, non use of sanitizers, spitting in public places and other advisories of health department shall be strictly acted upon the owner of the wine stores and the customers alike, under Section 269 and Section 188 of IPC, Section 133 of CrPC and other relevant provisions of law.
The deputy commissioner also said proprietors of wine stores shall mandatorily take appropriate measures to prevent people from crowding and breaking social distancing norms in their respective premises and failure to enforce the prescribed norms will warrant closure of the wine store.
Further, the deputy commissioner directed district officers of excise department to enforce the prescribed norms with support from police and the concerned sub-divisional officers (civil), block development officers and zonal team leaders in East Khasi Hills district.