‘Last Call’ for bars is now 11 PM; McMaster issues new order aimed at social gatherings

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COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) – Governor Henry McMaster is scaling back on some of the state’s re-openings. The governor announced Friday that restaurants and bars in the state will once again have to change the way they do business.

At most bars, the last call for alcohol is just before 2 AM. But now because of the drastic increase in the number of coronavirus cases in young adults, Governor McMaster is ordering for that call to be a little earlier.

South Carolina restaurants and bars will now have to stop selling alcohol after 11 PM starting Saturday, July 11.

Governor Henry McMaster issued the executive order just in time for the weekend, to send a message to young adults

“It’s time for our younger adults to behave like mature adults. This is very serious, wear your mask, keep that distance,” Gov. McMaster said.

Numbers show coronavirus cases in young adults 21- 30 years old have increased more than 400% in recent weeks. Health officials say social spaces like restaurants and bars are hot spots for risky behaviors.

Dr. Joan Duwve, the director of public health for DHEC, explained, “People get close, they tend to talk louder over the music, and we know the louder you talk the more efficiently it’s spread for 15 minutes or longer.”

Governor McMaster hopes the order will help decrease the state’s infection rate.

“The suffering and economic damage are not all inflicted by the virus. We have mental consequences, we have emotional consequences, we have educational consequences,” McMaster said.

Health officials are urging you to wear your mask and keep your distance even before 11 PM because someone’s life depends on your actions.

“If we don’t avoid these risky social activities, social distance we will see more of our friends, family members and loved ones become ill, hospitalized, ventilated and die,” Dr. Duwve said.

The executive order does not apply to grocery stores, convenience stores or wine and liquor stores. Businesses could lose their liquor licenses for violating the order.

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