Pa. The Régie des alcools publishes updated guidelines on alcohol for bars and restaurants


The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board on Wednesday released updated guidelines for Green County bars and restaurants that serve alcohol on-site.

The guidelines, designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, come amid a recent increase in the number of daily confirmed coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania that can be partially attributed to the places where people drink alcohol, Governor Tom Wolf said.

Here are the new guidelines for liquor licensees:

  • Sales of alcohol for on-site consumption are only permitted as part of a larger transaction that includes the purchase of a meal. The term “meal” is defined in Section 406 of the Pennsylvania Liquor Code as “food prepared on site sufficient to constitute breakfast, lunch or dinner”. The definition expressly states that a snack, such as pretzels, popcorn, chips or similar foods, does not meet the definition of a meal.
  • A customer who wishes to consume alcohol on the spot must also purchase a meal; a group of customers wishing to consume alcohol on site can do so as long as a meal is part of the purchase made by the group.
  • Additional drinks can be purchased while the customer is consuming the meal, but no other drinks can be purchased after the meal is complete.
  • Bar service of food and / or alcohol is prohibited.
  • For Pennsylvania manufacturers (breweries, distilleries, and wineries), meals may be provided by the licensee or by a third party, such as a food truck.
  • Casinos may no longer offer beverage service on the casino floor.
  • If a club does not sell food, either directly or through a dealer, it cannot use its liquor license.
  • The governor additional ordinance guiding targeted mitigation measures specifically prohibits businesses that meet the definition of “nightclub” under the Clear Indoor Air Act from operating.
  • Indoor seating in yellow counties is NOT allowed.

These guidelines will be enforced by Pennsylvania State Police and local and local law enforcement, the Liquor Control Board, and the Department of Agriculture.

For restaurants and bars, social distancing, wearing masks and other mitigation measures should be used to protect workers and customers. Additionally, occupancy is limited to 25 percent of the Fire Code maximum occupancy for indoor dining or 25 people for a specific indoor event or gathering at a restaurant. The maximum occupancy limit includes staff.

Events and gatherings must comply with the assembly limitations described previously by the State, including:

  • Indoor events and gatherings of more than 25 people are prohibited;
  • Outdoor events and gatherings of more than 250 people are prohibited; and
  • The maximum occupancy limit includes staff.

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