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Liquor Stores and Farmer's Markets Deemed "Essential" to Stay Open Amid COVID-19

Booze and locally grown produce are considered essentials during lockdown.
Woman looking at wine bottle label to buy

Good news for people who may be wondering, "Are liquor stores open during lockdown?"  while preparing their locally grown produce. Liquor stores and farmer's markets are staying open during this preventative coronavirus lockdown.

As the majority of the U.S. continues to go on lockdown, the definition of what is an "essential" business allowed to stay open has become very important. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced during a coronavirus-focused press conference that while he was directing the shut down of non-essential operations, essential businesses should stay open.

The governor's executive order mandated that 100 percent of the state's workforce "must stay home, excluding essential services," until further notice. But, according to the New York State Liquor Store Association, that order does not apply to liquor stores.

"Liquor stores have been deemed an essential business and may remain open," the association said in a press release. "You do not need to reduce your workforce. This applies to all SLA licensed entities as per the SLA."

It's not just New York. California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order last week that directed all California residents to "stay home except for essential needs."

Newsom noted "essential services" will remain open: Gas stations, pharmacies, grocery stores, farmers markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants, banks, and laundromats or laundry services. Unlike in New York, liquor and wine can be sold in grocery stores in California.

In the U.S., coronavirus outbreaks have occurred mainly in Washington, New York, and California, but experts see outbreaks spreading across all states soon. While the federal response has offered guidelines for citizens to follow, strongly encouraging people to avoid public spaces, bars, and restaurants, there is no national lockdown yet in place.

As more states deal with the rapid outbreak of COVID-19, more Governors are certain to follow the lead of Cuomo and Newsom and seeing as they've labeled liquor stores as essential, that will very likely become the national standard.

READ MORE: How to Get Tested for Coronavirus

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.
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