Meck County aligns alcohol sales with NC’s less restrictive ‘Safer at Home’ order

CHARLOTTE — Mecklenburg County is lifting its alcohol restrictions and will align with the state’s rules for restaurants, officials said Wednesday.

Patrons can start sitting at the bar again starting at 5 p.m. Friday.

[Phase 2.5: Gyms reopen, bars stay closed and everything else you need to know]

There are still no alcohol sales after 11 p.m., so restaurants will have to cut off on-site consumption.

The announcement includes all towns and cities in the county.

“While the number of new cases is improving, we continue to see a large number of COVID-19 cases among young adults,” said Gibbie Harris, Mecklenburg County public health director. “The continued restrictions on alcohol sales are an effective way to limit large numbers of mostly younger residents gathering in various establishments with no face coverings or social distancing which is not conducive to slowing the spread of this virus.”

Capacity restrictions and social distancing measures remain in place.

Changes in business restrictions include:

  • Restaurants can still serve alcoholic drinks for on-site consumption. However, the 11 p.m. curfew on sale of alcoholic drinks has been extended to Oct. 2.
  • Restaurants remain subject to capacity limits and other requirements for in-person dining.
  • Sitting at bars for food and beverage consumption at restaurants is permitted with appropriate social distancing measures in place.
  • Bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, amusement parks, dance halls and other entertainment facilities will remain closed.
  • Large venues remain subject to the mass gathering limits.
  • Wedding receptions and other private events remain subject to the mass gathering limits.

Other changes under Phase 2.5 of the State’s “Safer at Home” Order include:

  • Mass gathering limits will be increased to 25 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.
  • Playgrounds will be allowed to open.
  • Museums and aquariums can open at 50% capacity.
  • Fitness and competitive physical activity facilities can open at 30% capacity. Bowling alleys and skating rinks are considered fitness facilities. They may open under the same capacity limits and rules as fitness facilities.
  • All employers in North Carolina are strongly encouraged to provide face coverings to their employees.
  • Facial coverings are still required.

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