Raimondo: Bars remain a problem, bar areas must close by 11 p.m.

New regulation begins Friday, Aug. 7
Wed, 08/05/2020 - 1:45pm
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Stating that crowds gathering at bars still remains a problem area for the spread of Covid-19, Gov. Gina Raimondo announced today that starting Friday, Aug. 7, the bar area of all bars and restaurants must be closed by 11 p.m. She said that restaurants and pubs can still be open, but the bar area proper should be closed by 11 p.m.
 
Raimondo said that while many people have been calling for bars to be shut down completely, she was seeking the middle ground.
 
"I have been trying to strike a balance but too many bars are pushing, pushing, pushing the limit," said Raimondo. "Bars are a problem." She made her announcement at her Wednesday, Aug. 5 press briefing.
 
She said that state inspectors will be out in force to ensure the new regulations are followed. Raimondo said that state inspectors had found that 20 percent of all bars inspected were not separating bartenders from their customers in a safe social distancing fashion.
 
The announcement comes on the heels of four neighboring states — New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts — announcing that residents from those states traveling to Rhode Island must quarantine for 14 days when they return home if they have been here longer than 24 hours.