Odisha to Open Liquor Shops from July 1

After strict restrictions imposed for over three months, the Odisha government will finally allow over-the-counter sale of liquor from the 1st of July. An official order of the state government’s Excise Department stated that counter sale of FMFL/IMFL/wine/beer/RTD at licensed IMFL OFF and ON shops would start from Wednesday while continuing the existing home delivery services. However, stores will have to adhere to the new timings in place from 7 am to 6 pm.

To buy alcohol from the outlets, customers will need to book a time-slot in advance through an online mode. The Odisha State Beverage Corporation has developed an online platform for the generation of e-token and booking of time-slots. The National Informatics Centre has given specific instructions to regulate crowds at these shops.

An official stated that retailers have been directed to ensure proper breaks are in place between consumer time slots. The most essential guideline highlights social distancing and usage of face masks as a priority. Every store will be monitored by local police and excise staff officials.

“The district collectors have been authorised to close these shops in case of violation of COVID norms,” the official said.

In wake of the coronavirus lockdown, the liquor shops in the state have remained shut since March 22, although home delivery of liquor has prevailed since May 25.