Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) on Monday announced that bars and restaurants would not be permitted to sell alcohol on Wednesday, the day before the Thanksgiving holiday. The restriction is said to be a Wuhan coronavirus restriction aimed at tapering the spread of the virus.
Alcoholic beverages cannot be sold between 5 p.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. Thursday for on-site consumption. Wolf said the restriction is in place because the evening before Thanksgiving is the "biggest day for drinking," CBS Pittsburgh reported.
The maximum occupancy for large gatherings and events has been reduced.— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) November 23, 2020
On Thanksgiving Eve (11/25), sales of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption at bars, restaurants, and private catered events, must end at 5 p.m. Dining may continue; takeout is encouraged. pic.twitter.com/7ryeGYjQdc
Wolf said he realized this will have a dramatic impact on restaurants and bars across the state but the move has to be made in order to protect health care resources.
"The thing that we can’t do is ignore reality and say 'yeah you folks, for no fault of your own, have been hit hardest by this virus.' But the virus is what’s doing this. It's not me. It's not the administration. It's not the government," Wolf explained.
The new rule only applies to on-site consumption, meaning state-owned liquor stores and to-go sales can still legally take place.
DON'T FORGET: The #Thanksgiving eve BAN on alcohol sales in PA applies ONLY to bars and restaurants, not state stores or to-go beer sales from local breweries @KDKA— MEGHAN SCHILLER (@MeghanKDKA) November 23, 2020
Again, it runs from 5PM on Wednesday until 8 AM on Thanksgiving. https://t.co/XpYxwANdnI
Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said law enforcement will be enforcing the new coronavirus rules.
"Orders already in place and those announced today will be enforced, and law enforcement and state agencies will be stepping up enforcement efforts, issuing citations and fines and possible regulatory actions for repeat offenders," Levine said. "It has to be our collective responsibility to protect our communities, our healthcare workers and our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians from COVID-19."
According to Erie News Now, officers will enforce mask wearing, social distancing, capacity limits and gathering limits. If need be, law enforcement agencies will issue fines ranging from $25 to $300.