The Ohio Liquor Control Commission passed an emergency rule that allows restaurants to sell and deliver alcohol with take-out and delivery orders, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Tuesday.
The rule only applies to establishments with an existing on-premises liquor permit and has restrictions on quantity.
Breweries can now sell beer and wine that are not their own without food purchase, although liquor must be purchased with food. Patrons are only allowed to purchase two drinks per meal, and all drinks must remain closed during transport per the state’s open container laws.
Drinks also cannot contain more than two ounces of “spirituous liquor” for each container, the governor said.
The rule will remain in effect for up to 120 days or until it is overturned by the Liquor Control Commission.
Similar emergency rulings have been enacted in New York and Texas, the governor said.
Under the rule, patrons can purchase two, prepackaged drinks per meal. All drinks must be closed and remain closed during transport as per open container law.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) April 7, 2020
Ohio is currently under a “shelter-in-place” that was recently extended until May 1. The first order, issued by DeWine on March 22 and began on March 23, was originally set to end on April 6.
In addition to allowing only essential businesses to operate, the new order also limits wedding receptions to more than 10 people, requires stores to only let a certain number of customers in at a time, and establishes protocol for when two local health departments disagree on the definition of “essential business.”
As of Tuesday, there are more than 4,700 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Health. These cases have resulted in 1,354 hospitalizations, 417 admissions to intensive care units and 167 deaths.
There are more than 370,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The death toll in the U.S. is more than 12,000.
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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]