Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced last week that he is assembling an enforcement team to ensure that bars and restaurants are operating safely under the Responsible Restart Ohio plan.
Bars and restaurants reopened to patrons for outdoor dining on May 15. Dine-in service resumed on May 21.
“We know that many Ohio bars and restaurants are working very hard to comply with the safety guidelines, and I want to commend them for doing that,” said Governor DeWine. “We did, however, receive several very troubling reports this weekend of bars and restaurants that were not complying with proper social distancing guidelines. We cannot allow the few bad actors to threaten the potential closure of other restaurants and bars.”
The enforcement team will operate as part of the Ohio Department of Safety’s Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU) and will conduct safety compliance checks in crowded bars and restaurants. Businesses found violating the Stay Safe Ohio order will receive administrative citations that could result in the revocation of liquor licenses. The OIU team will also work with municipal prosecutors to take potential criminal actions against business owners who do not follow the order, which includes the requirement that patrons remain seated while eating/drinking and that parties stay six feet apart.