All state-run TASMAC liquor outlets in Tamil Nadu and the bars attached to them will go back to functioning from 12 pm to 10 pm, as they did before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The liquor shops, which were briefly shut during the second wave of COVID-19, had been functioning from 10 am to 8 pm since they reopened in July 2021. The bars attached to the liquor stores, which were only allowed to reopen recently from November 1, were also functioning from 10 am to 8 pm till now.
The Tamil Nadu government recently made full vaccination compulsory for those purchasing liquor from the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation Limited (TASMAC) liquor outlets. State Health Minister Ma Subramaniam announced the decision on Sunday, November 28, while talking about intensified precautionary measures taken by the state government amid concerns over the new coronavirus variant Omicron.
Managing Director of TASMAC L Subramanian said that the new timings will come into effect immediately, in a circular sent to regional managers and district managers on December 2, Thursday. The state government has accepted the MD’s request to permit the functioning of TASMAC shops and bars in their usual (prior to COVID-19) timings of 12 noon to 10 pm, which were followed before the announcement of lockdowns due to COVID-19 pandemic, Subramanian said in the circular.
The TASMAC MD also mentioned that the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) — like compulsory face masks, physical distancing, and sanitisation — must be strictly followed at the liquor stores and bars.
Tamil Nadu recorded 715 fresh COVID-19 cases on Thursday, December 2, pushing the total case count to 27.28 lakh, while the toll rose to 36,504 with 12 more deaths. Over the last few days, Chennai and Coimbatore have been recording a marginal increase in the number of new cases. Chennai and Coimbatore continued to witness a rise in new infections by adding 123 and 121 cases, respectively, while the remaining was spread across other districts.
As many as 23 districts reported less than 10 new infections, while Tenkasi recorded the least with zero new cases, the bulletin said.
With PTI inputs