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Tea shops, TASMAC outlets, salons re-open to brisk business

·2-min read

Chennai, June 14 (PTI): It was destination tea-shop, salon and liquor outlet across Tamil Nadu on Monday after the State government eased the stringent Covid-induced lockdown in force since May 10.

Long queues were noticed outside the State-run TASMAC outlets in most places. In certain districts of the State, liquor consumers welcomed the re-opening by breaking coconuts normally witnessed on auspicious occasions.

Brisk sale of liquor began this morning barring the districts - seven in western and four in Cauvery delta regions where the lockdown was not eased in view of the virus infection rate.

The fresh relaxations are applicable to the remaining 27 districts, including Chennai.

In Dindigul and in the southern coastal district of Kanyakumari having its borders with Kerala, customers thronged the outlets.

In some pockets, the police had to regulate the customers and allowed them to make the purchases only if strict social distancing was followed.

Ahead of re-opening, the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation Limited (TASMAC) sent a circular to its managers on Sunday asking them to strictly ensure social distancing among the crowd, wear masks and rigidly stick to operating the outlets between 10 AM and 5 PM.

Salons, beauty parlours and spas were allowed to function from 6 AM to 5 PM without air-conditioners allowing only 50 per cent of customers from June 14 in 27 districts.

Government parks were open from 6 AM and they would remain so till 9 PM.

Those who love to sip hot tea or coffee made a beeline to the stalls, but were asked to take away only parcels. For those running the stalls, it was all smiles.

'I am glad the government permitted the opening of tea shops for takeaway. The move has re-instated my livelihood opportunity, said S Satish, a shopowner here.

It is not only the hot beverages that people visit the shops for but also for snacks that we sell, said Murugan, another shopkeeper.

Salons greeted their customers with thermal scanners, allowing in only those wearing masks.

It has been rather difficult to manage with the long manes all these days. Finally, I got them trimmed today, said Balaji, one of the customers.

Meanwhile, PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss, an ally of the AIADMK, called upon the State government to close all the liquor shops to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

Taking to Twitter, he said the government should enforce total prohibition to save people from the evil effects of alcohol.

Both the AIADMK and BJP have been opposing the resumption of TASMAC sales and accused the DMK government of double- standards, saying the move could lead to the spread of the infection. PTI JSP NVG NVG

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