The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) announced on Friday that it will allow bars, wineries, distilleries and breweries that do not operate out of their own kitchen, but instead partner with a restaurant or other food provider, to offer alcoholic beverages to-go.
ABC said these beverages may only be given to customers with a to-go meal and cannot be sold by themselves.
This new rule is part of the ABC's Fifth Notice of Regulatory Relief which is a list of temporary relief measures based on the Governor's emergency declarations and orders regarding the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This specific notice is aimed at helping support more than 50,000 small and large businesses who are struggling financially during the pandemic.
The First Regulatory Relief Notice, announced on March 19, gave guidance to on-sale licensees selling and delivering prepared drinks and pre-mixed cocktails in to-go containers alongside meals.
Since then, ABC said it has received numerous requests to extend its to-go relief to on-sale licensees that do not operate kitchen facilities, such as many bars, wineries, distilleries, and breweries.
"We know businesses have suffered as they continue fighting to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said ABC Director Jacob Appelsmith. “We have heard directly from these businesses that the notices of regulatory relief can give them a boost and help bring more people back to work.”
Allowances for to-go drinks and meals has helped more than 45,000 restaurants stay afloat while their doors are closed to dine-in guests.
ABC said just last Friday, the Fourth Notice of Regulatory Relief was issued. This notice thousands of ABC licensees to use nearby parking lots, patios and sidewalks to help their patrons spread out and allow space for physical distancing.
In addition to this, ABC said they are also temporarily allowing:
- Virtual wine tasting to help California’s 6,300 wineries
- Free delivery of alcohol to consumers
- Extended alcoholic beverage delivery hours
- Extended credit transactions beyond 30 days
- Alcohol transactions through pass out windows or slide out trays
- Distilleries to make hand sanitizers and disinfectants so long as it they are cleared through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
For up-to-date information on ABC's relief measures and other responses to COVID-19, visit www.abc.ca.gov.