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Alcohol in Karnataka: No booze until April 20

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Bengaluru, Apr 15: The Karnataka Excise Department has decided to extend the closure of liquor shops in the state till the midnight of April 20, with the Centre extending the nation-wide lockdown aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19.

Alcohol in Karnataka: No booze until April 20

It said, the order earlier issued on March 31 for closure has been extended till April 20, as it has been decided to review the lockdown after the said date at certain places by issuing specific guidelines.

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The order issued by the Excise Commissioner in this regard, also noted that during the period, other than alcohol-based sanitiser manufacturing distilleries, no other manufacturing units can function.

Asking deputy excise commissioners to execute the order, it further states action will be taken against shops violating the order by cancellation.

"If any fault is noticed, deputy excise commissioner of the region will be held responsible," it added.

The department had earlier on March 31 has issued orders for closure of liquor shops in the state till April 14 midnight, aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19.

However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced that the lockdown across the country will be extended till May 3 to fight the coronavirus pandemic, saying the measure has produced a significant outcome in containing the infection.

Some relaxations may be allowed after April 20 in places where there are no hotspots, he said.

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The lockdown came into effect on March 25 and was to expire on the midnight of April 14.

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had earlier said that state intended to relax liquor sales, stopped since the 21-day lockdown was imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19, after April 14 in a bid to increase state revenues.

However, the decision will depend on the Central government's decision on lockdown after April 14, he had said.

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