No move to close wine stores despite Covid situation

By Indika Sri Aravinda

A decision has not been taken to close wine stores in the country despite the latest situation with the coronavirus pandemic.

Deputy Excise Commissioner Kapila Kumarasinghe told Colombo Gazette wine stores are being operated under strict health and security regulations.

Pointing out that some groups are making requests via media to close wine stores during the festive season, he said there is a possibility for an increase in the illicit liquor trade as was seen during the first coronavirus wave in Sri Lanka.

All wine stores within isolated areas and places under curfew have been closed in line with the guidelines issued by the Health Ministry.

The Deputy Excise Commissioner said however, there is no move to close wine stores during the festive season.

The Government Medical Officers Association has called on the Government to close wine stores as there is an increase in the consumption of alcohol during the festive season, resulting in people behaving in a reckless manner.

The Association’s Editor Dr. Haritha Aluthge said there is a risk of the coronavirus spreading further as people travel from place to place to consume alcohol during the festive season.

Dr. Aluthge said therefore it is advisable to close wine stores especially during the festive season.

Pointing out that if such a measure is not taken at present, he said a new cluster can emerge linked to the Western Province and especially the Colombo Municipal Council city-limits.

Dr. Haritha Aluthge said due to these reasons, the Government Medical Officers Association has called on the Government to close all wine stores in the country during the festive season. (Colombo Gazette)

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