Shillong: The Deputy Commissioner (Excise), East Khasi Hills District, Shillong in an order issued on 12th June, 2020 has informed that listed wine shops and bonded warehouses in East Khasi Hills District will open in selected locations each week from Monday to Saturday between 10:00 A.M. and 8:00 P.M. with effect from 15th June, 2020. However, wine stores in locations close to the International Borders, narrow roads and lanes compromising the interest of social distancing and areas with high transmission risk will not open.
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, the owners of the wine stores will utilize their own staff and they will personally be responsible to ensure social distancing of at least six feet is maintained between customers, respiratory etiquette and to strictly follow all directives and advisories issued by the Health and Family Welfare Department with reference to COVID-19 situation.
The owners of wine stores will 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 owners of the wine stores will provide hand sanitizers free of cost to customers and staff while handling the bottles and cash and the wine stores will limit their staff to the barest minimum and they are to wear masks at all time, without fail.
The Order also stated that wine stores will 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 and Family Welfare Department with reference to COVID-19 situation and customers are to avoid overcrowding and congestion in one location.
The order also stated that 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 and Family Welfare 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 that 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.
The Deputy Commissioner directed District Officers of Excise Department to also 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.