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6 States Issuing New Restaurant and Bar Curfews

In an ongoing effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, several states are enforcing new restrictions.

Just this week, the United States hit yet another grim milestone this year: more than 145,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported in a single day topping the previous record of just over 136,000 new cases. Despite the heartening news of a promising new vaccine developed by Pfizer, the pandemic is not only far from over, but it's worsening in America.

The rapid rise in cases isn't unique to the U.S. though, as the same is true in many other parts of the world as well. While some countries, notably island nations including New Zealand and Japan, have done an admirable job of containing the spread of the virus, other places are seeing their own spikes in case numbers. In the U.K., all bars and restaurants are currently closed beyond delivery and takeaway services in an effort to curb COVID-19's spread. France and Germany have also imposed new restrictions, as have other nations around the globe. (Related: 9 Restaurant Chains That Closed Hundreds of Locations This Summer.)

In the absence of cohesive federal guidelines on mask mandates, social distancing rules, and limits on gatherings, many states are now imposing their own restrictions on bars and restaurants, in hopes of minimizing the spread of the coronavirus without having to totally shut down businesses.

Here are six states with new rules regulating how and when bars and restaurants can operate. And for more, be sure to read 5 Horrifying Mistakes Servers Have Seen at Reopened Restaurants.

New York

new york outdoor dining

Governor Andrew Cuomo just announced that, as of Friday, Nov. 13, all bars and restaurants that hold liquor licenses must close by or before 10 p.m. each day, though delivery and pickup services may continue later. The new curfew will also be applied to gyms, and restrictions are also to be imposed on gatherings in private residences—which are not to exceed 10 people unless all are residents of the home.


outdoor dining san francisco

While California is not yet under mandatory limits on restaurant and bar openings statewide, various cities and counties up and down the state are imposing restrictions. For example, indoor dining is soon set to be banned in major metropolitan areas including Sacramento and San Francisco, and restrictions are also being implemented in San Diego. In total, 11 counties in the state are currently experiencing a high enough caseload to trigger state-mandated restrictions on businesses.


server taking order minnesota

Minnesota, which has experienced a dramatic surge in coronavirus cases recently, is setting a curfew between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. for all restaurants and bars, which are limited to delivery or takeaway service between those hours. The new guidelines also prohibit sitting or standing at bars and even temporarily ban standing bar games like pool or darts. The restrictions extend to other venues that offer food and beverages, such as race tracks and theaters. (Related: This Beloved Restaurant–Movie Theater Chain Has Filed For Bankruptcy.)

New Jersey

outdoor dining new jersey

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy enforced a curfew for restaurants and bars that looks similar to the bans in other states, but with one notable exception. While indoor services must halt at bars and restaurants between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., outdoor services may continue. The new order also stipulated that while food and beverage service must halt at 10 p.m. in the state's casinos, gambling may continue thereafter.


curbside pickup sign maryland

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced this week that all restaurants in Maryland will be, for the near future, limited to 50% capacity to allow for increased social distancing. Previously, venues were limited to 75% capacity but an uptick in cases prompted the change. The governor also announced new travel advisory guidelines, which include urging residents who traveled to get tested upon returning to Maryland.



Initially, restaurants in Connecticut were very restricted when it came to adding new outdoor dining space, but in a recent order, the state government relaxed bans on tents or "membrane-like structures" used for outdoor dining provided they have good ventilation. Food service businesses are now required to cease serving food and drinks by 9:30 p.m. and to completely close down shop by 10 p.m.

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Steven John
Steven John is a freelancer writer for Eat This, Not That! based just outside New York City. Read more about Steven
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