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26 COVID-19 warnings issued to PA restaurants earlier this week

Harrisburg, PA – Liquor Control Enforcement Officers issued one notice of violation and 26 warnings for failing to follow COVID-19 requirements, such as enough spacing in between seating, having employees wear masks while working, and limiting the occupancy of the building.

Those numbers for this two-day period of rule enforcement are statewide, with the only actual violation and ciatation coming out of the Philadelphia area.

Although the Punxsutawney area had warnings issued in the past, no warnings or citations were issued to our area during this specific enforcement period.


Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania State Police Liquor Control Enforcement Officers visited 1,650 licensed liquor establishments from Monday, July 27 through Tuesday, July 28 to ensure businesses are abiding by COVID-19 mitigation requirements that include social distancing, masking, and other health and safety requirements of the liquor code.

Liquor Control Enforcement Officers issued one notice of violation and 26 warnings for failing to follow COVID-19 requirements. As mandated by the liquor code, a notice of violation precedes the issuance of an administrative citation, which is civil in nature, and is intended to provide licensed liquor establishments notification of the nature of violation(s) discovered. The investigation remains open during this period, pending review by the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement (BLCE). Because the investigation is ongoing, names of establishments issued a notice of violation will not be released at this time. Each BLCE district office posts a monthly public information release that includes details on citations issued by that office.

Compliance checks are unannounced and can occur anywhere in the commonwealth, although the focus is on areas experiencing higher coronavirus transmission rates. Among other requirements, all businesses and employees in the restaurant and retail food service industry authorized to conduct in-person activities are mandated to:

  • Require all customers to wear masks while entering, exiting or otherwise traveling throughout the restaurant or retail food service business (face masks may be removed while seated). Further, employees are required to wear masks at all times.
  • Provide at least six feet between parties at tables or physical barriers between customers where booths are arranged back to back.
  • Ensure maximum occupancy limits for indoor and outdoor areas are posted and enforced.

Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement | July 27-28, 2020

1-Philadelphia 419 4 1
2-Wilkes-Barre 215 1 0
3-Harrisburg 37 4 0
4-Pittsburgh 333 9 0
5-Altoona 74 0 0
6-Williamsport 63 4 0
7-Punxsutawney 81 0 0
8-Erie 95 2 0
9-Allentown 333 2 0
TOTALS 1,650 26 1


Violators may face administrative citation by the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement. Continued violations put an establishment’s liquor license at risk, either through the citation process or upon application for renewal. More information is available on the enforcement page of the state police COVID-19 portal.

Complaints regarding licensees not complying with COVID-19 mitigation mandates may be directed to the BLCE at 1-800-932-0602 or reported through the BLCE’s online complaint form.