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PLBTA Comments

Last call for Pennsylvania bars will be 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving eve, one of the busiest drinking nights of the year.

Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine made the announcement Monday along with new limits on gatherings and an advisory for Pennsylvanians to stay home whenever possible.

COVID-19 cases continue to surge across the state with a seven-day increase of 36,133 and a statewide positivity rate of 11.1 percent.

Although alcohol sales will be banned Wednesday evening, Wolf says indoor dining may continue and takeout is encouraged.

Chuck Moran, executive director of the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association, released the following statement in response to Gov. Wolf’s announcement:

“Today’s announcement from Governor Wolf and Secretary Levine really comes as no surprise to anyone in the tavern and restaurant industry. In fact, announcements like this the Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association has been preparing our Members to expect until wide distribution of vaccines.

We understand that the COVID case numbers are increasing, and once again, our industry understands that it is being asked to sacrifice in order to play a role in saving lives of Pennsylvanians. Specifically, taverns and licensed restaurants will need to cut off patron requests for on-premise consumption of alcohol on only November 25 starting at 5 p.m.

With that bad news for the industry, the Governor did deliver some good news related to business liability for those enforcing mask rules. We are thankful for that liability protection.

We get the importance of the keeping patrons safe, and our industry works hard to do so every day.

But what we don’t get is why there has been no significant financial help to assist our small business taverns and licensed restaurants survive. As this crisis continues, more small businesses are closing while their employees lose jobs.

Help is needed now, not later. Many small businesses cannot sustain continued targeted mitigation without help from either the federal or state government.

This industry has sacrificed so much for the good of public health. Now small business taverns and licensed restaurants are the ones being sacrificed by a lack of financial action in both Harrisburg and Washington, DC.”

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