The administration of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf announced Monday that alcohol will be barred from being sold at restaurants and bars in Pennsylvania from Wednesday evening until Thanksgiving morning — an apparent edict intended to “slow the spread” of the China-originated novel coronavirus.
“On Wednesday, Nov. 25, restaurants and bars are ordered to suspend alcohol sales at 5 p.m. until 8 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 26,” directed Dr. Rachel L. Levine, the Secretary of Health for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, CBS Pittsburgh reported Monday.
Levine also announced “new mitigation measures” that include “targeted protections for businesses and gatherings.”
“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 warned at the Monday presser, according to CBS Pittsburgh.
“It has to be our collective responsibility to protect our communities, our healthcare workers and our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians from COVID-19,” the secretary added.
Small restaurants and bars have been disproportionately impacted by lockdown measures associated with the novel coronavirus. And the ban of alcohol for such businesses the night before Thanksgiving is just another economic blow.
“Small-business transaction data collected by software and business-services provider Womply show that about 1 in 5 businesses that were open in January have stopped transacting entirely,” The Wall Street Journal reported last month. “Most of them have likely closed for good. In a recent survey of 6,325 small-business owners conducted by small business social-networking company Alignable, 42% of respondents said they were at risk of going out of business in the fourth quarter.”
“Small businesses have been at the losing end of the U.S. economy for decades, but nothing has diminished their stature like the Covid-19 crisis,” the Journal emphasized. “Thousands of small firms have been driven out of business while their larger counterparts have largely survived and, in some cases, even flourished.”
As noted by The Daily Wire, last week, the secretary of health said Pennsylvanians need to wear masks even inside their own homes if others from differing households are over.
“Strengthening masking order,” the department posted via Twitter. “Masks are still required. Indoors: masks now required anytime you’re with people outside of your household, even if you’re socially distant. Applies to all indoor facilities + if you have people in your home not part of your household.”
Folks visiting the state, or returning from another state, are also required to be tested within 72 hours before entering Pennsylvania, the department said.
In a media release, the agency noted that Levine’s order from last week includes the following rules:
- Masks are required to be worn indoors and outdoors if you are away from your home.
- When outdoors, a mask must be worn if you are not able to remain physically distant (at least 6 feet away) from someone not in your household the entire time you are outdoors.
- When indoors, masks will now be required even if you are physically distant from members not in your household. This means that even if you are able to be 6 feet apart, you will need to wear a mask while inside if with people other than members of your household.
- This order applies to every indoor facility, including homes, retail establishments, gyms, doctors’ offices, public transportation, and anywhere food is prepared, packaged or served.