Enforcement Of Ban On In-Person Alcohol Sales And Consumption In Allegheny Co. Set To Begin Amid Rise In Coronavirus Cases

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Enforcement of a ban of in-person alcohol sales and consumption in Allegheny County will begin later today.

The order goes into effect at 5:00 p.m.

For bars that just opened their doors a couple of weeks ago, some will be forced to close them again.

A few bars around the area were trying to get rid of their inventory on Monday, not knowing when they’ll be able to reopen.

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Bar owners who have been following the guidelines are frustrated.

“I’m turning people away because you can’t have anybody standing there, but you go down the street or next door and they have wall-to-wall people and they’re past 50% occupancy,” said Len Semplice, owner of Redbeard’s Sports Bar.

Some have told KDKA that they were making sure everyone was safe.

The bars will be allowed to serve food and serve cocktails to-go, but some feel it won’t make enough money, so they will choose to close.

According to Allegheny County leaders, something had to be done after three straight days of high case numbers of COVID-19.

Now those bars that followed the rules feel like they are being punished for other bars that were committing violations.

Some bars will now be furloughing employees until further notice.

“You should have went after them and fined them. No, you’re fining everyone by doing what you’re doing,” said Semplice.

“If you’re going to shut it down, shut it all down together, don’t just take alcohol away. That would be like saying we’re going to take Pepsi away. What good’s it going to do?” Semplice said.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says that the next two weeks are critical for getting the virus under control and is asking for cooperation.

The Allegheny County Health Department is asking for people to report any businesses violating the ban.

If a bar is violating the order, officials say it will be investigated and ordered to close for one week.

If attending a bar or restaurant that will be open to serve food and cocktails to-go, you will need a mask to go in, and it needs to be worn at all times with the exception of while you are eating.

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