Delaware establishments will be able to continue to sell alcohol to go, one of the innovations restaurants came up during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A bill passed by the House of Representatives and sponsored by House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, D- Rehoboth Beach, would extend the allowance of alcohol sales to go as well as expanded outdoor seating until March 2022. The temporary provisions that were enacted last year were set to expire at the end of this March.
“Restaurants and bars have been among the hardest-hit industries during the pandemic. It’s only through their own ingenuity and creativity, and assistance we have been able to lend them that has kept many businesses afloat,” Schwartzkopf said. “The outdoor dining and to-go cocktails options have been extremely popular and have allowed restaurants and bars to serve patrons safely. These innovations are about to expire, but we are not on the other side of this crisis yet. This bill will give the hospitality industry another year of flexibility to keep their doors open.”
The restaurant industry has estimated that restrictions and lost business resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses during the pandemic, and many lost jobs.
The bill (House Bill 1) goes to the State Senate for consideration.