All licenced wholesale liquor vendors in Delhi must ensure that their workers use Aarogya Setu, Delhi Government’s Excise Department directed on October 27. This is in addition to mandatory thermal screening of every worker who enters the premises. All Bond Inspectors had to ensure compliance of these measures and submit a certificate about it by October 30 to Assistant Commissioner (IMFL) K.P. Singh. IMFL means Indian-made foreign liquor.

This is amongst a list of measures that wholesale liquor vendors have to implement in Delhi. Others include ensure that all workers wear face masks, touch free sanitiser dispenser at all entry and exit points, frequent sanitisation of entire building, strictly complying with social distancing norms while (un)loading stock, and displaying a banner with COVID-19 preventive measures both inside and outside the building.

It is not clear what will happen if the employees at a liquor wholesaler do not have a smartphone or do not want to download the app. It is also unknown what the penalty for not complying would be, and under which law this has been mandated. We have reached out to the Excise department for more information, and to know how many certificates of compliance they have already received. We have also asked them if the circular extends to liquor retailers and customers as well.

On May 1, the Ministry of Home Affairs had made it mandatory for all employees — both public and private — to download the contact tracing/exposure notification app. The heads of the organisations were made responsible for ensuring “100% coverage of this app among employees”. However, the Ministry later rolled this back on May 17 and asked employers to ensure that the employees install the app on “compatible mobile phones” on a “best effort basis”. These guidelines, that do not hold employers responsible for failing to do so, have been renewed through the subsequent lockdowns and unlocks.

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