On 7/22/2020, the PA Department of Health along with the PA Liquor Control Board have provided clarification regarding its requirement that all on-site consumption alcoholic beverages must be accompanied by the purchase of food. Going forward, patrons must purchase a meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner), not a snack. (It is unclear where Lunchables fall in this requirement due to its tiny serving size even though it has lunch right there in the name!) The guidance further provides that customers may purchase additional alcoholic beverages while they are consuming the meal, but that once they have finished the meal, they cannot purchase any additional beverages. This clarification would also seemingly eliminate the possibility of serving a moldy, Raines Law-style, ham sandwich.
Food trucks, or other food service providers, can fulfill the meal requirement, although compliance with the food requirement seemingly falls to the licensee. It will be important to work out a system to ensure that customers cannot purchase additional beverages unless they still eating their meal.
Additional clarification of note, bar service remains prohibited, indoor occupancy is limited to 25% capacity, indoor events/gatherings are limited to 25 people, and outdoor gatherings are limited to 250 people (each capacity requirement includes staff).
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