Chennai: A day after announcing that TASMAC wine shops across Tamilnadu would be reopened on 7 May, the Tamilnadu government today said liquor outlets would not be reopened in Chennai alone on that day.

It also said fresh date for the reopening of wine shops in the metropolis would be announced later. Sources said the decision was taken because of the unprecedented increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the capital.

In what could be seen as music to the ears of tipplers, who were left ‘high and dry’ in the wake of lockdown to tackle the spread of coronavirus, the Tamilnadu government on Monday announced opening of State-owned TASMAC liquor shops from May seven, but with some stringent conditions.

An official release here said the shops in the State would be allowed to open from 10 am to 5 pm from 7 May onwards in non-containment zones, following reports that people from Tamilnadu were making thronging the border areas of neighbouring States like Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh where wine shops were allowed to open.

“As there are difficulties in restricting the people’s movement in the border areas of neighbouring States thronging the liquor shops, the government has decided to open the TASMAC shops from May seven onwards from 10 am to 5 pm”, an official release here said.

Healthcare experts too have expressed fear that reopening of TASMAC shops without taking enough precautionary measures might result in increase in coronavirus cases. However, the government said bars attached to the TASMAC shops would remain shut.