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Everyone Chill, Liquor and Wine Stores Are Staying Open

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A new directive from the governor is putting limits on public life starting Sunday at 8 p.m., but liquor stores will be exempt

A wine shop with a white wall lined with bottles of wine with a blue counter in front of them
Wine shops and liquor stores will remain open amid sweeping new restrictions on public life in NYC
Stranger Wines [Official Photo]

Don’t worry: Liquor and wine stores are staying open.

On Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced sweeping new restrictions on public life amid the ongoing novel coronavirus crisis as the cases in New York skyrocketed past the 7,800 mark, with 1,250 of those people in hospitals. All non-essential businesses will have to close from 8 p.m. onward on Sunday, March 22.

There was some confusion on Twitter on whether liquor stores would be allowed to stay in business after Sunday, but the State Liquor Authority clarified that they would in fact remain open. Grocery stores, pharmacies, and other essential services like mass transit remain open, as will restaurants and bars for takeout and delivery only.

The order is similar to the one announced in California, which asks residents to remain at home unless it’s to get food, groceries, and medical supplies.

Cuomo rejected claims that it was a “shelter in place” policy, saying that that terminology is reserved for active shooter situations and pointed to California’s decision to change its terminology to “stay home except for essential needs.”

Businesses that remain open during this “pause,” as Cuomo described it, will face civil penalties and could even be permanently shuttered for repeated violations. Individuals out on the street will not face such penalties, though Cuomo stressed that all group activities are prohibited and said that people should continue to practice social distancing and stay six feet away from other people when walking outside.