CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - During Monday’s state coronavirus crisis briefing, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine reprimanded bars and restaurants who did not enforce social distancing over the weekend as outdoor dining opened up on Friday.
He said Ohio needs to balance the health of the people and the health of the economy.
We cannot have a successful reopening of the economy if there are surges of COVID-19 because of a lack of social distancing, according to the Governor.
Gov. DeWine said “When we look at how restaurants/bars operate, distance is key. We got reports over the weekend that most were doing an amazing job. But, it’s clear that we have some outliers - businesses that were not doing what they should do.”
As a result of those businesses in clear violation of those social distancing orders, Gov. said he is marshaling law enforcement and health officials to join the Department of Public Safety’s Ohio Investigative Unit to conduct safety compliance checks at crowded bars and restaurants.
Those establishments who violate Dr. Amy Acton’s orders for reopening and do not enforce social distancing will be issued administrative citations that could result in losing their liquor license.
Gov. DeWine said several citations were already issued over the weekend, but he is still awaiting the local health departments to report the total number of citations.
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted reminded bars and restaurants that the order states bars and restaurants can only serve patrons who are seating.
Those outdoor patios (and soon indoor dining areas) cannot allow patrons to pack the establishment by standing together.
Indoor dining at bars and restaurants in Ohio will be allowed on May 21.