Kerala enforces Covid norms at liquor outlets after court censure

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on August 11, 2021

Liquor buyers should have had at least one dose of Covid vaccine or produce a negative RT-PCR certificate

New guidelines in Kerala from today (Wednesday) require liquor buyers, including those at public sector Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco), to have taken at least one dose of Covid vaccine or produce anegative RT-PCR certificate.

Bevco has advised all its outlets to prominently display this information through a notice. Police will be present to enforce the new guidelines.

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A spokesman of Bevco said that a negative RT-PCR certificate not older than 72 hours or any proof that the buyer recovered from Covid-19 at least a month ago will be valid.

The guidelines come after the High Court of Kerala on Tuesday questioned why crowding at liquor outlets went unchecked even as the pandemic rages in the state. It ordered that guidelines applicable to shops selling essential goods should be applicable here too.

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The court slammed the State government for not enforcing its new Covid norms for public gatherings, announced on August 4, at liquour outlets.

“It is baffling, surprising and incongruous that the government order of August 4 is not applicable for buying of alcohol. When the government order dated August 4 is applicable to everything else, why not for buying alcohol? Why is it not complied with in bars and Bevco outlets? I want an answer to this,” agencies quoted Justice Ramachandran as saying.

The court opined that an additional reason for enforcing the norms was that it “would give an impetus to vaccination”. If vaccination is a requirement for buying alcohol, “more and more people would opt for it”, the court observed.

Published on August 11, 2021

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