We all need a drink right now — and it shows.
The coronavirus has brought much of the world to a standstill, the United States included. All over the nation, life has shut down, including restaurants and stores and we love. However, ingenious people are figuring out ways to keep some sense of normalcy as we all wait this out in our individual homes. And that includes politicians loosening state restrictions on alcohol delivery.
On Thursday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced an executive order that allows restaurants to continue delivery. The executive order also now allows bars, restaurants, breweries, wineries, distilleries and “other establishments with appropriate license” to deliver alcohol to people’s homes.
"With this order, we wanted to find a way to support local businesses while taking further steps to encourage people to stay home and avoid crowding in stores," Mike Ricci, Hogan's communications director, told U.S. News. "We were also sure to do what we could to protect restaurants' ability to do carry-out, and hope people will support those efforts."
Here are the other states we can all raise a toast to for making similar efforts to allow alcohol delivery during this difficult time.
On March 18, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a waiver to allow restaurants to deliver alcohol with food purchases to patrons, including beer, wine, and mixed drinks, noting it was passed to help reduce the “financial hardship caused by COVID-19 that has disproportionately affected the hospitality industry.”
"The State of Texas is committed to supporting retailers, restaurants, and their employees," Abbott said. "These waivers will allow restaurants to provide enhanced delivery options to consumers during this temporary period of social distancing."
On March 16, the New York State Liquor Authority announced restaurants and bars could sell and deliver alcoholic beverages provided that: The sale of each container shall be accompanied by the purchase of food; Sales should be consistent with municipal open container ordinances; Deliveries are made in a vehicle permitted by the Authority (e.g., a third-party delivery service), or a vehicle owned and operated, or hired and operated by the licensee or its employee.
According to the authority, alcoholic beverages may also be sold for take-out during the “on-premises hours of operation of the county in which the premises is located or, if different, the hours of operation set forth in the licensee’s method of operation with the Authority.”
On March 16, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu issued his own emergency order allowing restaurants to offer beer and wine with take-out orders, Fosters reported.
“All restaurants, diners, bars, saloons, private clubs or any other establishment that have both a restaurant license and on-premise license from the New Hampshire Liquor Commission shall be temporarily authorized to allow for takeout or delivery of beer or wine,” his announcement read. “We appreciate the sacrifices many have made throughout COVID-19 developments. This emergency order will allow for patrons to also order beer and wine from their favorite restaurants when ordering pickup or delivery.”
On March 20, Calfornia Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a temporary measure to allow restaurants to sell “beer, wine, and pre-mixed drinks or cocktails,” for pick-up or delivery as long as it has “a secure lid or cap” and as long as it’s sold with food, Mercury News reported. The emergency measure also lifted the ban on selling alcohol at drive-through windows.
On March 19, Nebraska’s Gov. Pete Ricketts announced his own measure to loosen restrictions on the sale of to-go alcohol. His measure allows alcohol to be purchased alongside takeout orders of food as well as on delivery orders. The announcement explained, “establishments such as pizza parlors (Class A license holders) will be able to sell beer to customers on take-out or delivery orders. Restaurants (Class I license holders) will be able to sell beer, wine, and spirits to customers placing take-out or delivery orders.” Restaurants are also able to now sell alcohol on drive-thru or curbside orders without customers having to exit their motor vehicles.
Restaurants in Colorado may now also deliver alcohol with food or sell it with to-go orders, The Denver Post reported.
“I’m proud that we’re taking additional steps today to allow restaurants that are maintaining delivery and takeout to also make alcohol sales alongside food sales,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis told the paper. “This will help them continue to stay afloat during these trying times.”
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott joined the chorus of voices allowing the sale of alcohol with food delivery and takeout orders. According to the Burlington Free Press, restaurants may offer alcohol at curbside pickup and delivery, but it must be an unopened container of wine, beer, spirits and "spirit-based product." All alcohol deliveries must happen between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. and restaurants must keep a log of the employee who delivered the alcohol, what was delivered, along with the names and locations of recipients, and signed recipients.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced that his state too would support local restaurants by allowing the sale of alcohol with takeout and delivery orders.
"Gov. Beshear said that restaurants that have an active liquor license, that are also doing food delivery or carry out, may also deliver sealed alcoholic beverages, in their original containers to customers,” a release from Kentucky Governor Beshear read, according to local media. “This change allows the state to give restaurants a much-needed boost to help their bottom lines.”