PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Drinks-to-go will soon be a reality in Pennsylvania as Gov. Tom Wolf says he will give an economic boost to bars and restaurants. A bill that would allow some Pennsylvania businesses to sell mixed drinks-to-go passed the state Senate last week and the governor is onboard to make it a reality.
“I do plan to sign it. It was passed, I think unanimously, in both chambers of the General Assembly so I will sign that,” Wolf said.
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The proposed bill would allow taverns and licensed restaurants to sell cocktails-to-go, with limitations for quantity, container and time of day.
Legislators believe it will throw a much needed lifeline to the struggling restaurant industry, which has been feeling the brunt of mass closures and limited operations during the COVID-19 crisis.
“I think it’s fine. People are able to take wine out of the restaurant along with their food and if they want a half-gallon of margaritas or Bloody Mary or something, if it helps the bottom line for these struggling restaurants, then it’s fine, as long as people are 21 or over,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said. “I see no problem with it.”
This promising news for some restaurants comes on the heels of good news in the coronavirus case count for Philadelphia. While the number of positive cases reported has reached 20,000, health officials say the daily counts are rapidly declining.
“The numbers are quite encouraging. Since this time yesterday, we confirmed 179 new cases, bringing us to a total of 20,132 since the beginning of the epidemic. Now a month ago, we were reporting about 500 new cases a day, now we’re reporting around 200 new cases a day,” Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said.
The gradual progression into the state’s less restrictive yellow zone for reopening appears on the horizon, however, health experts have stopped short of establishing a clear time frame.
“Most people in Philadelphia are following our recommendations,” Farley said. “The success we’re seeing as far the case counts going down everyday, is a sign that it’s working. People in Philadelphia are clearly being responsible.”