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Utah liquor stores to start opening up more, but bring a face mask

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Posted at 11:40 AM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 13:40:37-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control will start to ease up on some restrictions at state-run liquor stores.

At its monthly commission meeting, DABC deputy director Cade Meier announced that effective June 1, liquor store hours will expand to open 11 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. The stores may also allow more customers inside, but social distancing will be enforced. The DABC also plans to mandate face mask wearing for staffers and strongly encourage it for customers.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has limited store hours (to ensure sanitization and appropriate staffing), the agency has not seen a decline in sales. On Tuesday, the DABC commission was told the agency reported a $26.3 million increase in sales year-over-year. The DABC sold fewer bottles, but apparently made more money.

That is significant given that in April, most bars and restaurants were closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency did roughly $43 million in sales in April alone.