Bars, restaurants, hotels and clubs in Delhi will start serving liquor to dine-in customers from Wednesday, over five months since the lockdown was imposed in the end of March, albeit on a trial basis till September 30.
However, the experience is not going to be the same as in pre-Covid times. Here are a few things you’ll have to keep in mind while going out to grab a drink:
1. There will be no entry without masks, thermal checks and sanitisation. It is a rule mandated by the Delhi disaster management authority (DDMA). Some outlets are also making Aarogya Setu app mandatory for entry.
2. If you have a cough or a cold, chances are you won’t be allowed into a bar or a restaurant. Only asymptomatic persons will be allowed entry.
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3. Part of a large group? Well, then you may face problems, as a majority of the restaurants and bars in Delhi will not allow big groups to dine in and consume liquor together, due to the rules of social distancing. Groups, at best, should be restricted to four or five people only.
4. No live band performances will be allowed. Outlets such as Unplugged Courtyard have suspended live band performances to avoid crowds. Besides, dance floors in restaurants, pubs, bars and hotels also have been packed up temporarily.
Also Read: With bars, restaurants closed due to lockdown, no drink driving cases since April in Pune
5. You may end up waiting for a long time. Every outlet is allowed to take guests only up to 50% of its actual capacity. So, if you land up at a restro-bar which is already full, you’ll have to wait outside or look for another one.
6. You won’t be served liquor if you’re standing at a bar. The DDMA’s rules clearly states that liquor will be served only to seated customers. To follow this strictly, most restaurants and hotels have turned their bar counters into a ‘no-go’ zone to stop people from standing or sitting around it. Only if you’re seated at a table as a dine-in customer, will you be served liquor.
7. Want to grab a beer? Well, you may be disappointed, as most outlets have run out of beer. “Compared to other alcohol, beer has a shelf life of six months. Almost all the beer that outlets in Delhi had stocked before the lockdown was imposed in March has expired. Now, restaurant owners have started placing fresh orders. So, beer might not be available to customers in Delhi from Wednesday. But, this will be resolved within a few days,” said Anurag Katriar, president, National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI).