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PA Liquor Stores Will Reopen For Limited In-Person Sales In ‘Yellow Counties’

Liquor Stores Customer Service
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

PA POST - It’s the news many Pennsylvanians have been waiting to hear for nearly two months: the state-run liquor stores will start to reopen.

Granted, it’s not all 600 stores but the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board on Wednesday announced 77 Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores in counties designated in the yellow phase of Gov. Tom Wolf’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts will resume limited in-store sales, beginning Friday.

The 77 stores that will be reopening are identified in a  list published by the PLCB, and they are located in the following counties: four in Bradford County, six in Centre County, two in Clarion County, five in Clearfield County, two in Clinton County, four in Crawford County, two in Elk County, 15 in Erie County, two in Jefferson County, four in Lawrence County, seven in Lycoming County, two in McKean County, five in Mercer County, one in Montour County, four in Northumberland County, one in Potter County, one in Snyder County, one in Sullivan County, three in Tioga County, two in Union County, three in Venango County, and one in Warren County.

But it won’t go back to business as was usual prior to the stores’ closing on March 17.

The stores will be limited to no more than 25 people, including employees, in a store at any one time. Further restrictions on that number could be imposed in smaller stores. The first hour of a store’s opening each day will be reserved to customers at high-risk for COVID-19, including those 65 and older.

All will be required to wear masks and practice social distancing, which will be guided by signage throughout the store. And store employees will perform frequent cleaning and disinfecting so store hours will be modified to allow time for that activity and for restocking.

No returns will be accepted until further notice.

Prior to their reopening to the public, the stores were was sanitized and Plexiglass installed at registers to provide a physical barrier between employees and customers. Those stores that are reopening will continue to offer curbside service to the extent possible with limited staff.

Meanwhile, 11 additional smaller liquor stores in yellow counties – one in Cameron County, two in Clarion County, two in Forest County, two in Jefferson County, two in McKean County, one in Potter County, and one in Warren County – with very limited staffing will continue offering curbside pickup only until additional employees may be hired to support retail operations in the near future.

As for the counties still in the red phase of the reopening plan, curbside pickup is available from most stores and online orders at  FineWineAndGoodSpirits.com remain the only options to products offered through the state’s liquor stores.

PennLive and The Patriot-News are partners with PA Post. PA Post is an independent, nonpartisan newsroom that covers politics and policy in Pennsylvania. Read their reporting at PaPost.org.