‘Owners must ensure social distance’: Kejriwal warns after chaos at Delhi’s liquor shops
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday said shop owners in the national capital will have to take responsibility if social distancing norms are violated outside their shops and also warned that the government would step in and shut those shops if guidelines were repeatedly flouted.
“It was unfortunate that chaos was seen at some shops today in Delhi....If we come to know about violations of social distancing and other norms from any area, then we will have to seal the area and revoke the relaxations given there,” Kejriwal said.
“Shop owners will have to take responsibility and if norms of social distancing are violated outside a shop then the shop will be shut,” he added while addressing people via a video conference.
The Delhi chief minister also appealed to the people of Delhi to keep in mind three things if they needed to step out of their homes. He urged all citizens to wear masks while stepping outdoors, practice social distancing and sanitize/wash their hands frequently and well to stay safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Monday, with liquor stores reopening in the national capital after a month and more, serpentine queues could be seen as people thronged the shops to purchase alcohol, defying social distancing guidelines. Residents at Delhi’s Desh Bandhu Gupta Road witnessed a bizarre spectacle where the queue outside a liquor shop stretched for around a kilometre.
A day earlier, on Sunday, the Delhi government had announced that it would implement all lockdown relaxations that have been prescribed by the Union home ministry, despite the national capital being completely in the red zone with a high concentration of Covid-19 cases.
All Delhi government offices engaged in essential services will function with full strength and private offices will be allowed to function with 33 per cent strength, Kejriwal had said.
“The time has come to re-open Delhi. We will have to be ready to live with coronavirus. The lockdown was necessary to contain Covid-19, but Delhi is fully ready to relax lockdown restrictions,” the Delhi chief minister had informed people.
The relaxations came barely two days after the Centre extended the nationwide lockdown for another two weeks on Friday. The lockdown will now continue till May 17.
The lockdown was earlier scheduled to be lifted today on May 3.