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Mayor Maddox Issues Updates to Executive Order Regarding Bars and Restaurants

Based on continued communication with The University of Alabama and the release of new data from The University of Alabama System on Friday evening, progress can be seen in the decline in daily averages since the last report. The City will continue to move forward with a measured and balanced response to protect our community’s health care system and economy.

An executive order will go into effect at 6:01 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 8. The new order permits Tuscaloosa bars to begin reopening with limited capacity, curbs non-seated service at other ABC licensed establishments, and will be re-evaluated daily to ensure success for our community.

Updates to the executive order include: 

  • All ABC lounge licensed establishments may operate at a reduced interior capacity of 50% of their occupancy as established by the fire marshal, not to exceed 100 persons. 
  • All other ABC licensed establishments shall suspend walk up bar service and only allow alcohol sales to seated customers. Customers at these establishments will not be allowed to enter the premises unless seating is available.

“Two weeks ago, a surge of coronavirus cases on UA’s campus was threatening the continuation of in-person instruction for the Fall, plus creating potential long term impacts on DCH Regional Hospital,” Mayor Walt Maddox said. “With Fall in serious jeopardy, and at the request of the University, immediate and decisive action was required to protect our healthcare system and thousands of jobs. As a result of our combined efforts, the average number of daily cases, and the overall positivity rates in our community are declining. Although far from over, this positive trend provides an opportunity for a limited reopening of bars which have sacrificed a great deal to protect our healthcare system and economy.” 

The original Executive Order which prohibited the on-premises consumption of alcohol at establishments with a lounge license was put into place on August 24 to aid in the containment of the spread of the virus. Through numerous meetings and conversations between Mayor Maddox, City officials, University of Alabama representatives, and bar owners, the original Executive Order has been revised to take steps toward fewer community restrictions. Further, the amended Executive Order places more responsibility on restaurants that convert into bars in evening hours.  

Beginning next week, upon the direction of Mayor Maddox, the City’s Infrastructure and Public Services Department will convert the space dedicated to street parking on The Strip to pedestrian right-of-way to allow for greater area outside for those waiting in lines to have the ability to practice appropriate social distancing. This conversion will occur each evening beginning at 6:01 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 8.