Governor bans sale of alcohol for consumption at bars and restaurants for Thanksgiving Eve

Governor Tom Wolf announced today a series of new “targeted mitigation efforts” in response to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. This article will focus on the impact on bars, restaurants, and events/venues.

One action was to ban the sale of alcohol for consumption at a restaurant, bar, or catered event on Thanksgiving Eve, which is the busiest night of the year for the bar/restaurant industry. The ban goes into effect at 5:00 p.m. Alcohol sales to-go are still permitted. Below is the text from the announcement:

To specifically address large crowds, on Nov. 25, 2020 only, all sales or dispensing of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption at businesses in the retail food services industry, including bars, restaurants, and private catered events must end at 5 p.m. Indoor dining may continue, takeout is encouraged.

“As our hospitals and health care system are facing greater strain, we need to redouble our efforts to keep people safe,” Gov. Wolf said. “If our health care system is compromised, it isn’t only COVID-19 patients who will suffer. If we run out of hospital beds, or if hospital staff are over-worked to the breaking point, care will suffer for every patient – including those who need emergency care for illnesses, accidents, or chronic conditions unrelated to COVID-19.”

In addition, the number of people allowed at indoor and outdoor events and gatherings has been reduced until further notice.

Maximum Occupancy Calculator for indoor events:

 Maximum OccupancyAllowable Indoor Rate
0 – 2,000 people10% of Maximum Occupancy
2,001 – 10,000 people5% of Maximum Occupancy
Over 10,000 peopleNo events over 500 people

Maximum Occupancy Calculator for outdoor events:

 Maximum OccupancyAllowable Indoor Rate
0 – 2,000 people15% of Maximum Occupancy
2,001 – 10,000 people10% of Maximum Occupancy
Over 10,000 people5% of Maximum Occupancy up to 2,500 people

Additional articles will cover new regulations on schools and businesses and the empowering of local governments.