Ohio Investigative Unit enforcing curfew, mask-wearing and social distancing at restaurants and bars on NYE

Posted at 9:33 AM, Dec 31, 2020

CLEVELAND — If you were planning on going somewhere tonight for New Year’s Eve, you might be leaving a bit earlier than you expected.

That’s because the statewide curfew is in effect, and Gov. Mike DeWine recently extended it until Jan. 23.

The curfew is from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. each night. But it doesn’t apply to people going to work, school, medical appointments or getting essential goods like groceries.

DeWine said he decided to extend the curfew because, while Ohio’s numbers aren’t skyrocketing, they’re also not going down.

If you still plan on going out, you’ll need to follow the CDC guidelines and the Ohio Investigative Unit will be out in full force looking for violations on New Year's Eve.

Typically the OIU is looking for alcohol violations, like underage drinking, but social distancing, mask-wearing and enforcing the curfew will be at the top of their priority list this year.

As a result, bars and restaurants have been forced to change up their approach to how they handle the New Year’s Eve celebrations. Despite the obstacles, they’ve managed to come up with creative ways to say goodbye to 2020.

“A lot of New Year's Eve postings that we have seen actually are going to celebrate the new year at like 9 o’clock,” Eric Wolfe, enforcement commander of the Ohio Investigative Unit said. “So that allows them to celebrate but at the same time, be safely at home by 10. So the safest thing is to celebrate the midnight ringing in of the new year at home."

Wolfe says by-and-large bars and restaurants have done a good job at providing a safe environment and abiding by the curfew, but there have been several establishments slapped with violations this year.