April 29, 2020
Pennsylvania may loosen a longstanding restriction on alcohol sales to allow bars and restaurants to sell takeout cocktails amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The state House of Representatives passed legislation that would permit the sale of mixed drinks from some establishments.
The Senate could vote on House Bill 327 as early as Wednesday, The Morning Call reported. If approved and signed by Gov. Tom Wolf, state residents will have a new way to get a drink under quarantine.
Hotels and bars that lost more than 25% of their average monthly revenue as a result of the shutdown would be able to sell mixed drinks or prepared beverages for curbside pickup. Drinks would have to be served in lidded containers and not exceed 64 ounces, the bill states.
Such a loosening of alcohol restrictions would be unprecedented in Pennsylvania. The state never has permitted takeout cocktails. Other states have taken similar action amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The measure would be temporary, but would remain in place beyond the end of the shutdown. Once businesses are operating above 60% of their original capacity, they would no longer be permitted to deliver takeout cocktails.
The bill is sponsored by Bucks County Rep. Perry S. Warren.