Montgomery County said establishments can now apply for late-night alcohol sales permits that allow them to again serve spirits until midnight.
The latest development in the county’s coronavirus reopening plan loosens restrictions on the serving cutoff time, reverting it to midnight after pushing it back to 10 p.m. in August, WTOP reported.
Under the executive order issued Thursday by County Executive Marc Elrich, bars and restaurants that received the permit are required to hire staff or independent contractors whose sole duty is to enforce social distancing and face masks rules inside the establishments, WTOP reported.
Those who violate the permit requirements face steep penalties and should expect frequent, unscheduled inspections, the county said.
Businesses in violation of their permits will be subject to immediate revocation of the permit, suspended or revocation of the permit to sell alcohol and/or fines up to $20,000. Suspensions related to the coronavirus can be issued such as the county’s three-day test positivity average exceeding 3.25% or its three-day average of confirmed COVID-19 cases exceeding 100, WTOP reported.
As of Friday, the county reported 22,819 cases and 811 deaths, according to a coronavirus dashboard.