The Delhi government has decided to open up liquor shops in the national capital after the Centre has extended the nationwide lockdown for two more weeks.

It has asked all liquor shops run by its departments such as DTTDC — the tourism wing of the national capital — to give details about standalone shops that are eligible to reopen.

In its order, the Home Ministry had said that except in containment areas, standalone liquor shops can open in all zones, including green, where there are no coronavirus cases, and orange areas, which are at medium level risk.

“I am directed to request you to provide lists of L-6 and L-8 shops immediately, which conform to the criteria prescribed by Ministry of Home Affairs…” Assistant Excise Commissioner Ashok Daryani said in a letter to the government corporations that are allowed to sell liquor across the city.

According to the data available at excise department’s website, in 2019, the Delhi government has issued at least 381 liquor-selling licences.

Yesterday, the central government had released an order mentioning about the extension of the lockdown as well as the relaxations provided in green, orange and red zones.

However, there was no relaxation provided in the containment zones even after May 3.

In its order, the government had allowed the operationalization of standalone liquor shops on condition that they maintain social distancing norms ensuring six-feet social distancing and allowing no more than five people at a time in the shop.

Assam is another state in India which has allowed the sale of liquor in green zones amid the lockdown.

The third phase of the nationwide lockdown will begin from May 4 for two weeks till May 17.

As of now, India has witnessed over 36,000 cases of coronavirus with 1223 deaths.