People rush as liquor stores reopen in Noida



NOIDA (UP): Liquor stores reopened in Gautam Buddh Nagar on Tuesday after remaining closed for days due to the coronavirus curfew in Uttar Pradesh, officials said, with tipplers thronging shops in large numbers with scant regard for COVID-19-appropriate behaviour.
District Excise Officer Rakesh Bahadur Singh said liquor stores have been permitted to open for sale of alcohol, including foreign and country-made liquor, but in compliance with COVID-19 protocols such as maintaining of social distancing and wearing of face cover.
“On instructions of the district magistrate, the liquor shops have been allowed to open from 10 am to 5 pm, Singh said in a statement.
However, crowds thronged the shops no sooner they reopened in the morning in Noida and Greater Noida and several people were seen queued up outside such stores.
Pictures and videos shared on social media purportedly showed people standing in queues wearing face masks or face covers while some were even seen sporting their two-wheeler helmets as they waited for their turn to buy liquor.
Social distancing was amiss at many places, according to eyewitnesses, even as district officials and police said they were making efforts to ensure observance of COVID-19-appropriate behaviour.