District Judge Allows Bars To Stay Open Beyond 11 p.m. Until July


Wednesday, January 13th 2021, 7:40 am
By: Caleb Califano


OKLAHOMA CITY -

Oklahoma’s bar and restaurant industry secured a momentary victory after a district judge said those businesses don't have to follow Governor Kevin Stitt's 11 p.m. curfew for now.

Bars and restaurants will now be able stay open past 11 p.m. for an additional six months until July 6.

The temporary restraining order was put in place back on Dec. 17 after six bars sued the state. They argued Gov. Stitt and his team do not have the authority to force them to close early.

The ABLE commission has stopped enforcing the curfew until the judge makes a final decision in this case.

Health officials, including Oklahoma Health Commissioner Lance Frye, have argued in court that keeping bars closed past 11 p.m. will help curb the spread of COVID-19.

"I would say any mitigation effort right now makes a difference and collectively, mitigation efforts make a significant difference," INTEGRIS Health CMO Dr. Julie Watson said.

Many bar owners across the state argued that they make most of their money between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m. Their concern is not about the closing time but personal responsibility during a pandemic.