Alcohol curfew because of election

UPDATE: Late night partying on hold for the next 4 weeks in North Goa


This article has been updated on April 27 after clarifications issued by North Goa Collector, R Maneka

Now that the voting process is over, we can finally get back to our lives. After work parties, insane weekends, hungover Sundays, right? Wrong. Turns out, for the next 4 weeks, North Goa Panjim city is under curfew because technically, the election process is not over yet – and won’t be till May 23.

The District Magistrate and District Election Officer, North Goa, has set an 11 pm curfew for all venues in Panjim serving alcohol starting yesterday, April 24, right up until May 16. For the next three weeks, all liquor shops, bars, restaurants, pubs, food joints, shacks, etc. that sell or serve alcohol in the 11-Panaji Assembly Constituency in Noth Goa District are strictly prohibited from serving or selling alcohol post 11 pm. If you thought that was bad, it gets worse. These same establishments will be further prohibited from serving or selling alcohol post 6 pm from May 17 to 12 am midnight on May 19. From May 20 to May 22 the 11 pm curfew will be in effect again, and then on May 23, counting day, the whole day will be considered a dry day. Confused much? Scroll down to find a handy calendar. You’re welcome.

The good news is that restaurants are allowed to stay open late, as long they are only serving food and soft beverages. In fact, the DM has also ordered that the establishments need to have printed signs above the bar counters clearly indicating the curfew timings, so as not to cause any confusion. If any establishment is found violating the order, they are liable to have their license cancelled, and face penal action under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code 1908, with Section 30 of the Goa Excise Duty Act, 1964, and other relevant provisions of the law in force.

According to the District Magistrate and District Election Officer, the reason why this is being done is to ensure the free, fair, peaceful, and orderly conduct of the entire election process. But the question is, will this affect domestic tourism in the state? And if yes, by how much? Historically, this time of the year has been considered ‘off season’ in Goa due to the unbearable summer, and the fact that foreign tourists don’t frequent Goa around this time. This trend, however, has changed over the last few years, with April and May becoming increasingly popular for domestic tourists since the rates for travel and stay are much cheaper. Given the confusing curfew schedule, chances are, things are going to be rather quiet this summer.

What do you think of the curfew? Do you think it’s going to affect tourism in the state? Let us know in the comments below.

April 24 – May 16 (midnight) No alcohol after 11 pm
May 17 – May 19 (midnight) No alcohol after 6 pm
May 20 – May 22 (midnight) No alcohol after 11 pm
May 23 (till midnight) No alcohol the entire day
May 24 onwards Life is good again!