Lucknow, Oct 28 : There is good news for tipplers. After about seven months, liquor shops in Uttar Pradesh will evert to the pre-Covid timing of 10 a.m to 10 p.m.
An order to this effect was issued by the Excise Department on Tuesday and will be applicable to all liquor shops located outside Covid-19 containment zones.
Liquor shops that had shut down during the lockdown, were allowed to reopen on May 4.
However, they could operate only till 7 p.m. then. Subsequently, when the government announced weekend curbs to stop the spread of the virus, it made the closure rule applicable to liquor vends as well.
In July, liquor shops were allowed to operate during weekends but could also remain open till 9 p.m.
Liquor Sellers Welfare Association of UP general secretary Kanhaiya Lal Maurya said that the decision would help significantly in improving sales.
"It had been several months since liquor vends were being closed at 9 p.m. When bars and restaurants are being allowed to function for longer duration, we could not understand why shops had to be closed early. We met senior officials of the Excise Department last week and had requested them to change the timings. The Association welcomes the decision," he said.
The Association has also raised the issue of not being able to meet the licence requirements for sales due to the early closure.
Maurya said that now with the wedding and festival season having started, liquor vend owners would be able to hope for better business in the coming months.