Local Tavern League leader talks COVID-19 restrictions

Published: Dec. 17, 2020 at 6:52 PM CST
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LAKE HALLIE, Wis. (WEAU) -The Wisconsin Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday about whether Gov. Tony Evers has the authority to limit capacity at bars and restaurants.

The case, which pits the Wisconsin Tavern League against the state, seeks to invalidate Evers’ October orders reducing capacity to 25 percent. Though the order expired in November, the court’s ruling could impact potential future orders.

Eau Claire City County Tavern League President Dino Amundson said regardless of what the court rules, most bar owners are taking steps to keep customers and staff safe.

“Things that we try to implement or that we speak about is safety protocols for your customers,” he said. “Having your staff wearing the masks, having the hand sanitizer, keeping thing wiped down, the social distancing.”

Amundson said while most establishments are taking COVID-19 very seriously, he knows some aren’t. He has a message for those flaunting safety protocols.

“Shame on you, because this thing is for real and it’s going to go away anytime soon,” he said.

Though a vaccine is on its way, Gov. Evers has a message for people as they plan for the holidays.

“It’s going to be a long process for everyone,” he said. “And especially as we head into the holiday season, we are asking folks to continue doing your part to help keep our health care workers, our families and communities healthy and safe.”

Amundson said he doesn’t think bars will be a problem this holiday season.

“I can’t foresee a lot of people storming the bars and the restaurants come New Year’s Eve,” he said. “I think it’s going to be one of the quietest ones we’ve ever seen. Same thing around the Christmas time. People just are a little bit hesitant.”

Amundson also said the Tavern League wants to work with state and local governments to develop flexible regulations that can work for everyone.

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