Bar Owners Question Governor’s Order To Close Bars Early
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – About 40 Utah bar owners signed on to a letter sent to Governor Gary Herbert that questioned his order to close all bars at 10 p.m.
The letter reminded the governor of his goal to keep every business open during the pandemic.
“We agree with this goal and support reasonable regulations that are aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19. We do not believe, however, that the 10 p.m. alcohol service cut off is reasonably tailored to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our businesses,” the letter said.
I’ve spoken with over ten different bar and restaurant owners all echoing the same thing — drop in sales w/ no relief from the government.
— Morgan Wolfe (@MorganWolfeKSL) December 3, 2020
The letter went on to say the 10 p.m. cut-off has devastated the bar industry in Utah, cost owners hundreds of thousands of dollars, hurt employees and caused several Utah businesses to close.
The letter added that the order suspends alcohol sales during the busiest hours for alcohol sales, which is usually between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m.
“In addition, there are quite a few bars who do not open for business until 9 p.m.,” the letter said. “The 10 p.m. alcohol cut off has therefore effectively closed these ‘late bars’ to the public, and has made it virtually impossible for the rest of the bar industry in high transmission areas to continue to employ their wait staff, security professionals, managers and bartenders.”
The letter argued rather than preventing the spread of COVID-19, the order could actually lead to the spread of the disease because customers often leave bars where hygiene and social distancing are enforced for homes and other gatherings, where precautions may not be taken.
The signees suggested extending bar hours to 1 a.m. will prevent the unregulated gatherings.
Twenty-five bar owners originally signed the letter, but at least another dozen signed on Wednesday.
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