Have a seat, don’t belly up the bar: Mississippi curbs bars to limit spread of coronavirus

Published 2:59 pm Friday, July 24, 2020

In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus among young people, Mississippi announced new limits on bars Friday forcing patrons to be seated to buy alcohol and an end of alcohol sales at 11 p.m.

“Bars must look more like restaurants and less like mobs of COVID-19 spreads,” Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Friday.

Patrons will now be required to be seated in order to purchase alcohol, Reeves said.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

In addition, alcohol sales will be prohibited between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. under the new rules.

The 20- to 29-year-old category is among the largest coronavirus growth category in Mississippi over the last few weeks, Reeves said, and thus the stipulations on bars are aimed at preventing that group from congregating in close proximity in bars.

Reeves said since the spread of COVID-19 seems worst lately among young adults, the state aimed to target the problems while allowing the businesses to continue to remain open.

“We know for a fact that we are stressing the (hospital) system,” Reeves said.

“Social stuff is killing us,” Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs said. “Anytime we put people together there’s going to be a risk.”

In addition to the bar restrictions, Reeves also announced six additional counties added to face mask mandate including Calhoun, Holmes, Lamar, Montgomery, Winston and Yalabousha.

“We have to be willing to make sacrifices as a state and as a people,” Reeves said.