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Bars found operating after 11 p.m., among other violations
Rhode Island’s COVID-19 Enforcement Task Force has taken immediate action against four bars for failing to comply with a range of public health directives related to COVID-19. The COVID-19 Enforcement Task Force is a collaboration between the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation (DBR).
Inspectors noted various violations at these businesses, including bars being accessible after 11 p.m., mingling customers being served at bars, failure to maintain separation at bars, and employees and patrons not wearing masks. Although restaurants can operate bars, they must close by 11 p.m., and patrons must be seated at bars with barriers between seated parties. Nightclubs cannot operate in Rhode Island at this time.
“We are taking a zero-tolerance approach when it comes to bars that, by blatantly flaunting Rhode Island’s COVID-19 requirements, are hurting the entire industry, are jeopardizing the safety of customers and communities, and are setting the whole state back in our work to prevent the spread of this virus,” said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH. “To the businesses throughout Rhode Island that are serving customers in a way that is responsible, healthy, and safe, thank you. To the businesses that are not, serious consequences can be expected.”
The four establishments that have received Immediate Compliance Orders are:
7 Sisters La Cachimba Hookah Lounge, Tres Letras Hookah Lounge, Fish Co. Bar & Grill, and Pregame Lounge are currently closed, pending meetings with RIDOH and DBR. Additionally, all employees of these four businesses must be tested.
Thorough environmental cleaning will be required of all four establishments, in addition to the ongoing requirements for all businesses offering dining on premises. These include requirements to keep contact information for guests, screen employees and guests for symptoms of COVID-19, ensure mask wearing, and ensure social distancing.