Health departments will keep an eye on return of late night alcohol sales

Alcohol sales restriction to end next week

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board plans to drop the restriction against selling alcohol after 11 p.m. next Tuesday.

The restriction was put into place because state officials fears late night sales contributed to the spread of the coronavirus.

Jefferson County and health officials across the state are expected to keep a close eye on the bars and restaurants in hopes there will not be another spike in positive COVID-19 cases.

A number of bars and restaurants across Alabama said they were hurt by the cutoff of alcohol sales at 11 p.m. Those businesses were trying to recover after being shut down by health orders earlier this year.

The Jefferson County Department of Health understands the financial pain, but the department hopes those businesses will be working to ensure that customers are following health orders mandating limited capacity and wearing face masks at the appropriate times and social distancing.

“Anything that involves revelry, alcohol - we have to be extra careful because we forget to social distance. We are social. We get in a little closer and we have to be extra careful. Especially when we are interacting with people,” said Dr. Wesley Willeford with the Jefferson County Department of Health.

The ABC Board has said it expects ALEA and local law enforcement to enforce those rules.

While another shut down is unlikely, Willeford and other health leaders said if there is another surge of cases, they will have to look at their options to bring those numbers down again.

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