In a relief to the owners, Karnataka government has allowed restaurants, pubs and bars, to sell liquor at retail price from May 9 till May 17, when the third phase of nation-wide lockdown will end. However, according to the order issued by the Karnataka government on Friday, the pubs, bars and restaurants, which have been shut since the pan-India lockdown was imposed on March 25, can only sell liquor in take away form.
“Karnataka government has allowed restaurants, pubs and bars to sell liquor at retail prices from today till May 17. However, they can be sold only in take away form,” read an order issued by the state government.
The decision by the Yediyurappa government was taken after the state continues to generate record revenue due to the sale of alcohol. Karnataka generated around Rs 200 crore revenue from the sale of liquor in just three days since the liquor shops were reopened.
The Centre on May 2 announced the extension of lockdown, with considerable relaxations which include opening of liquor shops from Monday after 40 days of clampdown, in order to mobilise the revenue. Bars, pubs, restaurants were ordered to remain close amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
Meanwhile, long queues have been seen outside stores across the country throughout this week as people – forced indoors due to the pandemic – stepped out to stock up alcohol, forcing several states to shut the shops again as the social distancing norms were violated extensively.
However, amid the raising call to start the home delivery of liquor, the Supreme Court on Friday also advised the states to consider ‘non-direct sale’ of liquor including online/home delivery” to ensure lockdown and social distancing norms were not flouted.
As per the latest update by the State Health Department, the total number of coronavirus cases in the state is 753. “Of 753 cases, 346 are active cases. 376 persons were discharged after treatment while 30 people have succumbed to the coronavirus,” the Karnataka Health Department said in a release.