Pennsylvanians looking to get tipsy at pre-Thanksgiving celebrations may be sorely disappointed after the governor ordered bars and restaurants to halt alcohol sales ahead of the holiday, part of a series of new Covid-19 measures.

Governor Tom Wolf announced a raft of new containment policies on Monday, imposing limits on the size of gatherings while advising residents to leave home only for “essential needs,” pointing to the “dangerous situation” posed by the coronavirus.

Among other restrictions, the ramped up measures will also force not only bars and restaurants, but all privately catered events, to end alcohol sales by 5pm on November 25, the day before Thanksgiving – what Wolf called the biggest drinking day of the year.

Today I’m announcing efforts to slow the spread of #COVID19 as cases reach critical levels.They include a recommitment to school safety, protections for businesses and employees, reduced gatherings, enforcement for mask wearing, and an advisory encouraging PA’ians to stay home.

“The virus is what’s doing this. It’s not me. It’s not the administration. It’s not the government,” Wolf said, voicing reluctance to impose a new lockdown, but adding elsewhere “As our hospitals and health care system are facing greater strain, we need to redouble our efforts to keep people safe.”

The maximum occupancy for large gatherings and events has been reduced. On Thanksgiving Eve (11/25), sales of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption at bars, restaurants, and private catered events, must end at 5 p.m. Dining may continue; takeout is encouraged.

The new rules, which include calls to local police to step up enforcement, do not state exactly when the ban on booze sales would lift, though suggested it would only be in force on Wednesday night.

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Many netizens catching wind of the alcohol ban met the news with disappointment, some calling the move “insanity,” while another questioned who the real ‘enemy’ was – “A virus? Alcoholism? Freedom?”

The state of Pennsylvania is suspended alcohol sales starting Wednesday afternoon through the Thanksgiving holiday. Because of covid. Which means all alcohol in the state will be sold today and tomorrow. Seriously, all of these rules are absolute insanity.

“Pennsylvania is banning alcohol sales the night before Thanksgiving in an attempt to stop coronavirus from spreading,” one user wrote. “We went from 14 days to stop the spread back in March to prohibition of alcohol sales in November. When will enough of this insanity finally be enough?”

Pennsylvania bans alcohol. Oregon legalizes hard drugs. 2020 is wild ???

To date, Pennsylvania has tallied more than 320,000 coronavirus infections in total, as well as nearly 9,900 deaths, according to data gathered by Johns Hopkins University. The state sits well below some of the US’ worst hot spots, such as Texas and California, as the whole country nears a total of 12.5 million cases and 258,000 fatalities.

Pennsylvania just banned alcohol for one night only before Thanksgiving. What exactly are we combatting again? A virus? Alcoholism? Freedom?

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