News

Last Call Is Coming Earlier at Bars in Some States Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

States across the country are mandating earlier last call times.

Dr. Fauci has remained a guiding light for Americans throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, so we should probably listen to the guy when he says bars are "really not good." Look, we love shoving our way towards the bartender for an overpriced, water-downed vodka soda, but that's got to stop.

While many local watering holes have reopened following initial lockdowns, surging COVID-19 cases nationwide have forced states to reevaluate. Though California, Arizona, Illinois, and more have once again forced bars to close down, other places have taken a different approach. Colorado, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and the Carolinas have instead mandated earlier last call times, CNBC reports

So why bring back bars at all if the culture is so closely tied with poor social distancing? According to Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, people are going to gather either way. This at least allows the government to actually enforce restrictions. 

"If we don't [attempt to safely reopen bars], people are pushed towards more house parties that we've seen in other states where no rules are followed," Beshear told local news outlets during a press conference earlier this week. "Our goal is to have a right structure of rules where people can have that outlet if they're looking for it, but to do it in a safe place and to do it in a safe manner."

Meanwhile Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo similarly called it a "middle of the road" approach, so that businesses could remain open. "Right now, the problem that I worry more about is having to close restaurants and bars," she said, according to the Cranston Herald. "We have been bending over backwards to keep the bars open."

And while not everyone agrees this is the route to take -- one bar owner said "I don't think the beer is less safe at 10:59pm than it is at 11 or 11:01" -- professor of health policy at the Colorado School of Public Health Glen Mays told CNBC that the hope is these last-call orders will ultimately encourage guests to stay for shorter periods of time and not congregate.

Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.

Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist.