COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – During a coronavirus briefing Friday in Columbia, Governor Henry McMaster announced a new executive order regarding the sale of alcoholic beverages at bars and restaurants.
The governor said the order is being issued to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in young adults across the state.
“Many of the young people in our state, as well as around the country, seem to not be taking the virus as seriously as they should, and we hope that this will help all of us – particularly the younger generation – to realize just how serious this virus is and what is at stake if we don’t see these infection rates start dropping,” said Gov. McMaster.
Beginning Saturday night, restaurants and bars will be prohibited from selling alcoholic beverages every night after 11:00 p.m. until further notice.
This means restaurants and bars will be able to serve alcoholic beverages each day until 11:00 p.m., at which time the mandate is effective, through the close of business.
“We know that young adults who are rapidly contracting the virus and spreading it into our communities frequently congregate in late-night atmospheres which simply are not conducive to stopping its continued transmission,” said Gov. McMaster. “This measured, carefully tailored approach will lessen the opportunity for South Carolinians to put themselves and their loved ones in harm’s way.”
Restaurants and bars who fail to comply with Governor McMaster’s executive order may lose their license.
The order does not apply to alcohol that is sold at convenience or grocery stores, wine and liquor stores, or retail business.
It does apply to any holder of the following licenses: On-Premises Beer and Wine Permit, Winery Permit, Brewpub Beer/Wine Permit, Brewery Permit, Business Liquor by the Drink License, Non-Profit Private Club Liquor by the Drink License, Special Event Permit, or Special Non-Profit Event Permit.
Governor McMaster’s office said there are approximately 8,000 restaurants and bars permitted by the S.C. Department of Revenue (SCDOR) for on-site sale and consumption of alcohol.
The order goes into effect Saturday, July 11th at 11:00 p.m.