This order has been put in place to help out restaurants struggling to get through this pandemic. This order will temporarily allow restaurants with on-premises alcohol licenses to sell unopened beer or wine for purchase along with to-go orders. Signed into law last night on March 27 by County Manager Williams, currently enacted, this will be ratified by the Mayor & Commission on Tuesday, March 31:

WHEREAS, beginning in late 2019, the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, SARS-CoV-2, emerged causing a novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, which has now become a worldwide pandemic; and

WHEREAS, the Governor of the State of Georgia declared a State Public Health Emergency on March 14, 2020; and

WHEREAS, on March 19, 2020, pursuant to their authority under the Athens-Clarke County Emergency Management Ordinance, the Athens-Clarke County Mayor and Commission adopted a Second Declaration of Local Emergency activing certain emergency powers in order to allow Athens-Clarke County to quickly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic;

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in disruptions to resident and community affairs as well as changes to how governmental services are provided; and

WHEREAS, Athens-Clarke County’s businesses, including thousands of small businesses, have also been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic through business closures and reduction of hours; and

WHEREAS, the temporary suspension of certain provisions of the Alcoholic Beverages Ordinance will assist local businesses in responding to and coping with COVID-19 Emergency; and

WHEREAS, in accordance with Athens-Clarke County’s Emergency Management Ordinance and pursuant to the March 19, 2020 Second Declaration of Local Emergency, the Manager has the ability to temporarily suspend the enforcement of the ordinances of the county, or any portion thereof, where the emergency is of such nature that immediate action outside the code is required, and where such suspension is consistent with the protection of public health, safety, and welfare, and such suspension is not inconsistent with any federal or state statutes or regulations;

WHEREAS, I believe it is in the best interest of Athens-Clarke County, its residents, and its businesses to temporarily suspend the enforcement of certain provisions of the Alcoholic Beverage Ordinances in order to assist local business and residents coping with the COVID-19 Emergency;

NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to the authority vested in me as Manager of Athens-Clarke County by local and state law;

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, that any provisions of the Alcoholic Beverages Ordinance prohibiting an establishment licensed to sell beer and or wine on premises from selling unopened bottles of beer/cans and wine for take-out consumption off premises shall be temporarily suspended for the duration of the COVID-19 Local Emergency. It is the intent of this order that any establishment licensed to sell beer and/or wine shall be authorized to sell unopened bottles of such beverages for take-out consumption off premises through the duration of the declared Local Emergency, including any extension thereof.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that all provisions of the Alcoholic Beverages Ordinance not in conflict with this Order shall remain in full force and effect.

This 27th day of March, 2020.

Blaine Williams, Manager

Unified Government of Athens-Clarke County