As we outlined in our post last week, Governor Wolf issued guidance for retail food and alcohol businesses in green counties (permitted to have 50% of capacity inside and outside dining) and yellow counties (permitted to have 50% of capacity outside dining beginning on June 5).
Following up on Governor Wolf’s guidance, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (“PLCB”) issued guidance on Friday evening regarding inside and outside food and alcohol service for the green counties that had entered that stage on Friday morning. Although this guidance only applies to green counties, it does provide a glimpse of what the policies may be for yellow counties that can resume outside service on June 5.
We do expect the PLCB to issue further guidance for yellow counties on or after its meeting on June 3 and will update this post accordingly. At least some issues, such as “do I need to file an extension application to serve on unlicensed outside areas” have been answered and solutions exist as are outlined below (see to-go sales). Additionally, all conditions outlined in our post from last week and the Governor’s guidance must be adhered to.
Initially, there was concern that Governor Wolf’s guidance did not apply to all licensees. The PLCB stated it does apply to manufacturers and other retail licensees, which we expect to continue for yellow counties.
In green counties, indoor service is permitted under the following mandatory restrictions:
In green counties (and likely yellow counties when further guidance is issued), outdoor seating in both licensed and unlicensed areas is permitted. Outdoor service is subject to the same restrictions stated above for indoor service, including, but not limited to, no more than four customers together at bar seating and six feet or physical barrier between customers. In addition, outside service should follow the below requirements:
The PLCB reminds licensees that these permits can still be issued, but all requirements for using those licenses are still required. That is all the PLCB said, but this leads us to believe that these permits may be used in accordance with this guidance and Governor Wolf’s guidance, so long as they are used in a green county (if inside or outside) or a yellow county (if outside beginning on June 5). These permits have been a target of enforcement during the COVID-19 Crisis and it is advisable to have your plans vetted to ensure compliance prior to utilizing any permits.
For information regarding national and state liquor law matters or general manufacturing and distribution advice, please contact our Liquor Law, Licensing, Manufacturing, and Distribution Practice Group: Liquor Law Department Chair Theodore J. Zeller III, Esquire (firstname.lastname@example.org); David C. Berger, Esquire (email@example.com) for Pennsylvania and New Jersey retail and manufacturing licensing; or contact our offices at 610-391-1800.
The information contained in this post may not reflect the most current developments, as the subject matter is extremely fluid and constantly changing. Please continue to monitor this site for ongoing developments. Readers are also cautioned against taking any action based on information contained herein without first seeking advice from professional legal counsel. For more topics related to COVID-19, visit our Coronavirus Thought Leadership Connection.