Pennsylvania Bans Alcohol Sales in Bars, Restaurants on Thanksgiving Eve

November 24, 2020 Updated: November 25, 2020

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, Pennsylvania officials announced a one-day ban on alcohol sales in bars and restaurants starting Wednesday.

The ban will be in effect from 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Eve through 8 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, said in a statement Monday. People still can purchase beer, wine, and spirits at stores.

Wolf said the measure is meant to “specifically address large crowds” and to limit “limiting congregation in bars and restaurants, which has been repeatedly shown to spread the virus.”

Bars and restaurants can normally serve alcohol until 11 p.m. The new one-day rule will reduce the onsite purchase time by six hours.

Officials also announced that indoor events are limited to less than 500 individuals while outdoor events are limited to 5 percent capacity up to 2,500 people.

Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine said law enforcement will enforce the new rules and “repeat offenders” may be regulated.

Bar owners are frustrated with the new rules. Teddy Sourias, who owns five bars and restaurants in Center City, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the new order was “yet another blow to our industry.”

The governor cited modeling from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, which projected Pennsylvania with 22,000 new COVID-19 cases per day in December and more than 32,000 COVID-19 deaths by Feb. 23, 2021 if restrictions are not adhered to. COVID-19 is the disease the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus causes.