Hearing Delay Means Local Bars Will Be Open New Year's Eve

Wednesday, December 30th 2020, 5:55 am
By: Tevis Hillis

Bars and restaurants can be open past 11 p.m. on New Year’s Eve after a judge pushed back a hearing to challenge COVID-19 restrictions on those businesses.

The case was set to take place Wednesday as six bar and restaurant owners challenged Governor Stitt's executive order's legal authority to close bars and restaurants at 11 p.m.

A judge ruled in favor of those bars on December 18, temporarily letting them service past 11 p.m. But the judge said this was only for the six challengers.

The ABLE commission said that they would no longer enforce this rule on any bars and restaurants until the dispute is settled.

But as the hearing is moved back, the bars and restaurants will be able to remain open even on New Year's, raising concerns in the medical field.

"We know from multiple lines of evidence that bars and restaurants represent people getting this infection because you have to take your mask off," said Dale Bratzler with OU Health. "We need people to continue to take this seriously. We're not out of the pandemic. We're not out of the woods here."

The new hearing is set for January 8.