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Governor reminds Ohioans that economic recovery and social distancing are linked directly

Says officials will check for compliance, could revoke liquor licenses
Posted at 2:46 PM, May 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-18 14:46:27-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine made clear on Monday that economic recovery in Ohio is directly tied to how successful the state is at disrupting the spread of coronavirus by social distancing, a response to reports over the weekend of some bars and restaurants in Ohio not taking measures to separate customers.

DeWine said most restaurants and bars were doing a good job, “but it’s clear that we had some outliers that were not doing what they should do.”

While DeWine did not mention any businesses by name, large crowds were seen at several Cleveland-area bars, including Lago East Bank.

“If we’re going to bring the economy back, people have to feel safe and that rules are being followed when they go to a bar,” DeWine said.

DeWine read from the order signed by Dr. Amy Acton to explain the guidelines that bars and restaurants must follow.

-Maintain 6-foot social distancing for employees and members of the public at all times, even in line
-Reservations must be less than 10 people
-Customers must be seated while consuming food, beer, wine and/or liquor in the premises of the business

View all the mandatory requirements and recommended best practices for reopened restaurants and bars here.

“The business has the responsibility to control the environment, and if they can’t, then they should make the decision to close,” DeWine said.

DeWine confirmed that the state is assembling a “large contingent of law enforcement and health officials from across state agencies and from our local communities” to serve safety compliance checks and issue administrative citations that could end with the revocation of liquor licenses, and, potentially, criminal charges from municipal prosecutors.

CONTINUING COVERAGE: Rebound Northeast Ohio

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