State Police, Liquor Control Board remind bars and restaurants to require masks, follow social distancing

Pennsylvania. Major Jeffrey Fisher, director of the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, says the commonwealth “remains in the midst of a public health emergency, and serious consequences are possible for businesses that fail to take the necessary steps to keep their employees and customers safe.”

01 Jul 2020 | 01:24

Liquor establishments and their patrons must comply with social distancing and masking requirements or else face fines or loss of licenses, the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board said on June 29.

On June 17, the Wolf administration issued updated guidance for the restaurant and retail food service industry to slow the spread of COVID-19:

• Customers must wear masks while entering, exiting, or otherwise traveling throughout the restaurant or retail food service business. Face masks may be removed while seated.

• Employees must wear masks at all times.

• Establishments must provide at least six feet between parties at tables or physical barriers between customers where booths are arranged back to back.

• Establishments must ensure maximum occupancy limits for indoor and outdoor areas are posted and enforced.

• Employees and customers at the commonwealth’s Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores are also required to wear masks.

Establishments that fail to comply with these requirements face a fine of up to $1,000 per violation and suspension or revocation of their liquor license.

Complaints regarding licensees not complying with COVID-19 mitigation mandates may be directed to the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement at 1-800-932-0602 or reported through the bureau’s online complaint form.

“Our enforcement officers have found that the vast majority of licensed liquor establishments statewide are voluntarily complying with mitigation requirements, and we remain focused on education and working with licensees during this challenging time,” said Major Jeffrey Fisher, director of the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement. “However, the commonwealth remains in the midst of a public health emergency, and serious consequences are possible for businesses that fail to take the necessary steps to keep their employees and customers safe.”

Since mid-March, Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement officers have conducted compliance checks at more than 15,100 licensed liquor establishments. Officers have issued 162 warnings and 103 notices of violations to date.

PA county halts on-site liquor consumption amid rise in cases
(AP) Officials in western Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County are halting all on-site consumption of alcohol in bars and restaurants due to what they call an “alarming” spike in COVID-19 cases. County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Dr. Debra Bogen, the county health department director, said the recent spike has been largely among young people and involved out-of-state travel, often including night life during travel, and going to local bars and restaurants. The county reported an additional 109 cases, higher than the previous high of 90 last Saturday.