Tamil Nadu government announced late Sunday evening that the state-run TASMAC liquor shops within the limits of the Greater Chennai Police will be reopening from Tuesday (18.08.2020). A statement issued by the government read that the liquor outlets will be functioning from 10AM to 7PM and each outlet will issue 500 coupons per day, which will allow only 500 customers to make purchases from a shop. Furthermore, it has been stated that TASMAC stores in malls and containment zones will continue to remain closed. 

The government has also issued guidelines to all TASMAC retailers in the state to see to it that customers coming to make purchases adhere to the COVID-19 protocols in effect such as wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. It is to be noted that liquor shops were reopened across Tamil Nadu on May 7 with the exemption of Chennai city, Kancheepuram, Chengalpet and Thiruvallur districts. 

The state government had not permitted reopening of the TASMAC outlets in Chennai and its suburbs in view of the rising number of coronavirus cases, which eventually led to many residents in the city to drive to other districts to make their liquor purchases. Likewise, in May, a day after the outlets were reopened across Tamil Nadu outside Chennai, the Madras High Court ordered for their closure after it came to their notice that large crowds gathered for purchases, but were violating social distancing norms and the guidelines that were issued. Later, the Supreme Court agreed for the shops to be reopened. 

Since March, when the lockdown was imposed across the state, the Tamil Nadu government had lost a daily liquor sale revenue of Rs 90 crore across the state. The state had recorded more than Rs 30,000 crore. 

Despite Chennai recording an approximate 50 percent dip in the number of coronavirus cases, the city has been witnessing 1,000 fresh positive cases with the neighboring districts as well showing a spike. Currently, Chennai has 11,498 active cases and a total of 1,16,650 positive cases, with the state's tally crossing 3.38 lakh cases among which are 54,019 active cases.