The Puducherry government on Tuesday announced some relaxations in the lockdown, which has been extended till June 14. It was stated that liquor shops will resume operations. Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases have also been declining in the union territory as per official data.
The ease of restrictions comes 42 days after the lockdown was first announced due to the pandemic. The government announced that all the shops in the area will function from 9 am to 5 pm, and liquor shops in the union territory will resume operation from 9 am to 5 pm.
As per reports, places of worship such as temples and churches are allowed to operate during the same hours as shops. Autos, taxis and other vehicles are also permitted to function.
Although liquor shops are allowed to function for the most part of the day, the public is instructed to wear face masks and maintain physical distance. Government sources also confirmed that the public must use hand sanitiser and get a temperature check before purchasing the liquor. All liquor shop workers have been requested to get vaccinated within 15 days.
However, as the liquor shops have been opened in Puducherry, the public turn out from neighbouring districts of Tamil Nadu will be higher, police personnel claim. â€śAlthough there is restriction in Tamil Nadu, the public movement from Villupuram, Kallakurichi and Cuddalore districts continues towards Puducherry for liquor purchase,â€ť a police official on duty at Puducherry-Cuddalore border said.
The Excise Department in Puducherry has been directed to consider the option of home delivering liquor to reduce overcrowding at the shops. The department commissioner said, â€śThe proposal is under consideration. Rules have to be amended for allowing home delivery of liquor. Hence the system is not yet in place.â€ť
Meanwhile, as per the daily COVID-19 bulletin, Puducherry on June 6 reported 470 new cases and eight deaths. On June 7 and 8, the UT reported 400 new cases and six deaths on both days respectively.
The Puducherry UT has so far recorded 86,098 cases and a total 1,319 deaths as of June 8.