On top of Pennsylvania officials already mandating strict COVID-19 restrictions applying to Thanksgiving such as required wearing of masks when multiple families gather in private homes, the powers that be in the state added more to the merriment Monday.
For starters, Pennsylvania restaurants and bars are ordered to suspend alcohol sales at 5 p.m. Wednesday — the day before Thanksgiving — until 8 a.m. Thanksgiving morning, KDKA-TV reported.
The very early last call likely won't make for very festive happy hours around the Keystone State once work lets out.
Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf said the Wednesday before Thanksgiving is the "biggest day for drinking" and acknowledged bars and restaurants have been hit hard by the pandemic — but that this one-night ban is necessary, the station reported.
"The thing that we can't do is ignore reality and say, 'Yeah, you folks, for no fault of your own, have been hit hardest by this virus.' But the virus is what's doing this. It's not me. It's not the administration. It's not the government," Wolf said in regard to the 5 p.m. alcohol sales cutoff time, KDKA noted.
Today I’m announcing efforts to slow the spread of #COVID19 as cases reach critical levels. They include a recommi… https://t.co/putm13Sunp— Governor Tom Wolf (@Governor Tom Wolf)1606159468.0
Wolf also said police will step up enforcement efforts and "issue citations and fines, and possibly undertake regulatory actions for repeat offenders."
Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine said other mitigation measures are "targeted protections for businesses and gatherings," an advisory for Pennsylvanians to stay at home, and enforcements on public health orders like the recently strengthened mask mandate, the station reported.
How are folks reacting?
It appeared that while some Twitter commenters were in favor of the new restrictions, quite a few others seemed fed up with it all:
- "I don't even drink and this is wrong," one user wrote. "What's the science behind this?"
- "Seriously what is your f***ing problem? You are a f***ing a**hole! This will destroy a huge night for business!" another user noted.
- "Why?!?! This s**t is getting crazy," another commenter said. "What's the SCIENCE with this stripping of rights???"
- "Maybe the liquor stores could just self-identify all their stock as Root Beer," another user quipped.
- "Will there be a special stimulus for all the service employees who were counting on a big night like Thanksgiving Eve to make up a bit for all the losses they've already taken?" another commenter asked.
- "The raw and arbitrary exercise of power is an intoxicant," another user declared.
- "How people continue to vote for Democrats is beyond me," another commenter wrote.