COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– With the expiration of Ohio’s statewide curfew, bars and restaurants are free to resume their normal hours and alcohol sales.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said the 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew expired at noon on Thursday. It was linked to the state’s ability to keep COVID-19 hospitalizations under 2,500 for seven straight days.
The curfew, which the governor called a slowdown instead of a shutdown, went into effect on Nov. 19. It was originally 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. and intended to last for three weeks, in an effort to limit person-to-person contact.
Before the curfew, Ohio had an order setting last call for alcohol sales at 10 p.m. That began in July and it expired at the end of November. On Thursday, DeWine was asked if the earlier last call order would return.
“No, we don’t intend to do that unless the circumstances change,” he said.
Without those two orders, establishments are able to resume their regular sales. JACK Cleveland Casino and JACK Thistldown Racino immediately announced they would resume 24/7 operations.
The governor was also asked about evidence the curfew affected the number of COVID-19 cases in the state.
“The evidence that curfews work is very basic evidence. And that is we know there is spread inside more than outside, we know when people do not wear masks that there is more spread. So restaurants and bars, by their very nature, have spread. We have clear evidence of that,” DeWine said.
“What a curfew simply does is reduces hours, reduces the hours people are there. It reduces a period of time at time when people, and we don’t have a curfew now, but if we did, when we did, it reduces the hours of that contact. By reducing the hours of that contact makes a difference,” DeWine said.