Alcohol Prohibitionists Aren’t Happy About Covid-19 Exceptions for Bars and Restaurants

Too bad. Deregulation could (and should) be here to stay.

by Baylen Linnekin

Of all the deregulatory efforts undertaken during the pandemic, the loosening of state and local alcohol regulations has been perhaps the most noticeable, welcome, and widespread to date.

Take to-go cocktails. At least 30 states have moved to allow to-go alcohol sales by bars and restaurants temporarily during the pandemic. Many jurisdictions have also relaxed alcohol delivery rules.

Now, some of these moves are being made permanent. Late last month, for example, Iowa lawmakers, who’d already moved to allow bars and restaurants to sell take-out cocktails, decided to make those changes permanent. At least four other states are considering similar permanent legislation.

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