Deputies offer safety advice to restaurants serving takeout, curbside alcohol

Deputies offer safety advice to restaurants serving takeout, curbside alcohol
The Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office released recommendations to restaurants to help them safely handle “to go” orders and curbside sales of wine and alcohol. (Source: Pexels)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office released recommendations to restaurants to help them safely handle “to go” orders and curbside sales of wine and alcohol.

Gov. Henry McMaster issued an Executive Order requiring that all restaurants temporarily close their dining rooms and move to “to-go” orders, “whether via delivery, carry-out or drive-thru distribution, curbside pick-up, or other alternate means," through March 31.

The sheriff’s office recommends restaurants implement the following safety measures:

To ensure restaurants are maximizing their sales opportunities while simultaneously maximizing their efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, please consider implementing the following measures:

  • Limit Personal Interaction to the Greatest Extent Possible.
    • Utilize and encourage online ordering or ordering via telephone when possible. Limit personal interactions that take place physically inside restaurants. Allow customers to order, pay, and receive their food and beverage without entering the location if possible. Remember, The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America encourages us all to, “Avoid all social gatherings in groups of 10 people.”
    • Remember, selling food and beverage of any kind for on-premises consumption is strictly prohibited by the Governor’s Executive Order. Selling food and/or drink to consume on premises while an individual waits for his or her “to-go” order is unlawful at this time. 
    • Utilize and encourage curbside pick-up, delivery, and drive-thru options. Simply posting a number for customers to call when they arrive and providing curbside delivery/payment will help tremendously in the effort to reduce the spread of the virus. 
    • If people must wait for their orders to be completed, we encourage you to practice social distancing. Again, the hope in restricting on-site consumption of food and beverage is to limit and contain the spread of COVID-19. Maintaining at least a 6-foot distance from other individuals is recommended, even while waiting for “to-go” orders. Practicing social distancing between employees and patrons is recommended.  
  • In accordance with CDC guidelines, you should also take Steps to protect yourself (and your staff).
    • Clean your hands often
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.

Another of McMaster’s Executive Orders allows current holders of a valid beer and wine permit to sell or deliver beer and wine in a sealed container for curbside delivery or pickup and off-premises consumption.

Deputies say curbside delivery or pickup of “alcoholic liquors,” as defined by section 61-6-20 of the South Carolina Code of Laws, as amended, remains prohibited.

State and local law enforcement agencies across the State have been charged with protecting and serving the public, especially when it comes to the spread of COVID-19. In fact, certain provisions of law, which allow law enforcement officers to disperse crowds of three or more during a state of emergency, have been activated and are in effect.

So, while law enforcement agencies will be doing their part to generate and promote business for our state’s restaurants, they will also be working to make sure the criminal laws of this state and the governor’s Executive Orders are enforced.

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