Governor cracks down on restaurants, bars during COVID spike

     Late last week, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced that the state will be taking additional steps to enforce compliance to her emergency public health disaster proclamation regarding social distancing and advanced hygiene practices at Iowa bars, restaurants, and other food establishments.

     The ABD (Alcoholic Beverage Division) and the DIA (Department of Inspections and Appeals) is working together to ensure that businesses follow public health guidelines set forth by the proclamation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

     To promote social distancing and limit the spread of COVID-19, the Governor’s proclamation requires establishments to create at least 6 feet of physical distance between each group or individual dining or drinking alone, all patrons, must have a seat at a table or bar, and an establishment must limit patrons from congregating closer together than 6 feet.

     “Public safety is of the utmost importance,” said DIA Director Larry Johnson. “Although a majority of bars and restaurants are voluntarily complying with social distancing requirements, we will take these necessary steps the ensure the health and safety of Iowans.”

     “COVID-19 is still with us and we need bars and restaurants to help mitigate the spread of the virus,” said ABD Administrator Stephen Larson. “For those businesses that choose not to, they need to understand that there are consequences.”

     For businesses with an ABD permit or license, the ABD will issue a $1,000 fine for first offense. For businesses with only a food license, DIA will issue a warning.

     The second offense for either a business with only a food license as well as those with both a food and alcohol permit or license will trigger a seven-day suspension of the business’ alcohol permit of license by ABD, as well as a seven-day suspension by DIA of the business’ food license.

     A third offense will trigger the revocation of all food and alcohol permits and licenses for the offending business.

     Several establishments in Monticello have already made immediate changes to their dine-in services and hours to comply with the Governor’s new mandate. Those include: The Cone Shoppe, The Grove Bar & Grill, and Hillside Sports Bar & Grill.                


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