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Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) enforcement staff will fan out across the state during the 2020 Independence Day holiday weekend to ensure that restaurants and bars and their customers are complying with state alcohol laws, OLCC rules, and the Governor’s social distancing requirements.

The compliance action comes as the COVID-19 virus has increased across the state, Thursday reaching a new record of 375 new confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19.

The OLCC has relaxed some regulations to permit alcohol licensees to reconfigure their bar and restaurant space so they could re-open while maintaining social distancing requirements for staff and customers. Under Governor Brown’s Reopening Guidance bars and restaurants in Phase 1 may serve alcohol until 10 p.m., under Phase 2 those establishments may stay open until midnight.

In coordination with the Oregon Occupational Safety & Health Administration (Oregon OSHA) the OLCC will conduct spot checks to make sure licensees are following OLCC regulations. OLCC inspectors will be checking to make sure bars and restaurants are not overcrowded, that customers are not over-consuming, and that businesses are closing at the required time.

“We want to make sure our licensees maintain their diligence this holiday weekend and not be complacent,” said Steve Marks, OLCC Executive Director. “Quite frankly the health of Oregonians and the ability for bars and restaurants to stay open is dependent on it.”

Where there is a clear violation of Oregon law or OLCC rules, the OLCC will take administrative action against the licensee. If inspectors observe violations of social distancing requirements outside OLCC enforcement authority the agency will report that information to Oregon OSHA for action.