Gov. Cooper announces statewide alcohol curfew at restaurants

Gov. Roy Cooper delivers a briefing on North Carolina’s coronavirus pandemic response Monday, Jun. 15, 2020. [photo courtesy NCDPS]

Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday announced a statewide curfew of alcohol sales at restaurants after 11 p.m., with the new restriction going into effect on Friday.

Bars across North Carolina will remain closed.

“Public health experts and examples from other states show that bars and other places where people gather closely together are a high-transmission setting,” Cooper said at a news conference. “We want to prevent restaurants from turning into bars after hours. We’re hopeful that this new rule can help drive down cases.”

As of Tuesday, the state has more than 116,000 lab-confirmed cases; 1,749 new cases since Monday; 1,244 people in the hospital and 1,820 people who have died.

Cooper said the new mandate is particularly important as colleges and universities are scheduled to start, bringing people all over the country to the state.

“We’ve seen case numbers increase among younger people, and prevention is critical to slowing the spread of the virus,” he said.

Cooper also said he will soon announce plans to help residents with rent and utility bills as the federal pandemic unemployment benefits come to an end Friday.

“We’re putting together a plan using funding from the CARES Act, and we will be announcing this soon,” he said. “As the end of this month approaches, I know many families are concerned about rent and utility payments coming due. This is especially difficult now that federal unemployment benefits that were helping to cover those bills will be cut off abruptly due to inaction in Washington.”

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