North Carolina is placing a statewide curfew on the sale of alcohol as coronavirus case spike.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper said that as part of Executive Order 153, restaurants, breweries, wineries and distilleries must stop selling alcoholic drinks after 11 p.m. and are banned from selling it until 7 a.m. The rule goes into effect July 31 and will remain in place through Aug. 31.
The order is intended to lower the number or COVID-19 cases in the state by reducing the gathering of crowds, especially indoors where transmission rates are likely to be higher. The rule does not affect convenience stores and other establishments permitted to sell alcohol for off-premises consumption.
“We want to prevent restaurants from turning into bars after hours. We’re hopeful that this new rule can help drive down cases,” Cooper said, according to WBTV.
North Carolina has had over 116,000 confirmed cases of the virus and 1,820 deaths; there are 1,244 people currently hospitalized.