The Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board are calling on licensed liquor establishments and their patrons to abide by social distancing and masking requirements to help slow the spread of COVID-19, according to state officials.

Last week, Gov. Tom Wolf issued updated guidance for businesses and restaurants in response to COVID-19. 

All businesses and employees in the restaurant and retail foodservice industry authorized to conduct in-person activities are mandated to require all customers to wear masks while entering, exiting or otherwise traveling throughout the restaurant, according to the Wolf administration.

Face masks may be removed while seated but employees are required to wear masks at all times.

Establishments are also to provide at least 6 feet between parties at tables or physical barriers between customers where booths are arranged back to back.

Since mid-March state officers have conducted compliance checks at 15,100 licensed liquor establishments, and officers across the state conduct an average of 1,500 compliance checks each day, according to the state Liquor Control Board.

The agency has issued 162 warnings and 103 notices of violations to date.

“Our enforcement officers have found that the vast majority of licensed liquor establishments statewide are voluntarily complying with mitigation requirements, and we remain focused on education and working with licensees during this challenging time,” Major Jeffrey Fisher, director of the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, said. “However, the commonwealth remains in the midst of a public health emergency, and serious consequences are possible for businesses that fail to take the necessary steps to keep their employees and customers safe.” 

In Sunbury, business owners and club managers are saying they are being mindful of their customers.

“The Americus Hose Co., is very aware of the fact that masks need to be worn,” President Jerome Alex said. “We have a sign on the door to let people know they can’t enter without one. Our staff all wears masks, and if someone is coming in without a mask we kindly remind the person they need one.”

McGuigan’s Public House owner Laurie Johnson said she is also watching patrons as they enter her downtown Sunbury establishment. 

“I just put another sign up that says ‘no shoes, no shirt, no mask, no service,’” she said. “My employees wear masks all the time and we have been on people, making sure they are wearing one when they come in or when they move around inside.”

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