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Bars must still close at 10 p.m. on OSU, Browns postseason game nights, Gov. DeWine says

Nick Chubb
Posted at 4:49 PM, Jan 05, 2021

CLEVELAND — During his Tuesday press conference, Gov. Mike DeWine said he would not allow a variance for bars and restaurants to stay open late next Sunday and Monday, despite the Cleveland Browns and Ohio State Buckeyes playing crucial postseason games.

Both teams play in prime time, with their games not starting until 8:30 p.m.

Under the state of Ohio's current curfew, all bars and restaurants have to close in-person dining at 10 p.m., meaning fans won't be able to stay past halftime to watch the game together.

DeWine has previously given a variance to First Energy Stadium and other stadiums for fans to be able to watch the games in person past the current curfew.

RELATED: Gov. DeWine issues variance allowing Browns to host fans for MNF despite statewide curfew

DeWine said that bars and restaurants are places where people can't wear masks and are able to spread coronavirus.

"Looks, there's nothing more that I would like to do than say, 'Let's have no restrictions on bars, everybody go back to normal.' I can't look at these numbers and say that we should expand the time when people can be together, crowd together in a bar or restaurant because in a bar and a restaurant, by definition, you cannot wear a mask, when you're drinking or when you're eating." DeWine said. "I understand that we have people hurting. I understand that we have great desire for people to be able to go to a bar and root on the Buckeyes or root on the Browns but that would simply add to the spread that we already have."

The state reported 7,580 new cases on Tuesday.

RELATED: Jan. 5: Ohio reports 7,580 new COVID-19 cases, 104 new deaths, 12,550 new vaccinations

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