During the unprecedented circumstances created by Covid-19, many states have loosened their liquor laws. But Ohio is taking a more cautious approach to alcohol sales and has now tightened regulations.
In order to discourage interstate traffic, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has restricted liquor sales in certain counties to Ohio residents only. The affected counties all border Pennsylvania, as shared by the governor in a recent Twitter post.
On Monday afternoon, Gov. DeWine announced that the in-person sale of liquor in Ashtabula, Trumbull, Mahoning, Columbiana, Jefferson, and Belmont counties would now be restricted to Ohioans only. Any individual wishing to purchase liquor, he added, will need to present a valid Ohio photo ID or a valid military photo ID if they are in active duty status.
— Governor Mike DeWine (@GovMikeDeWine) April 13, 2020
Why the counties next to Pennsylvania? In mid-March, Pennsylvania closed its liquor stores, leading residents to seek alcohol in nearby states — Ohio included. While interstate traffic is typically encouraged, Gov. DeWine wrote that such travel from Pennsylvanians “creates an unacceptable public health issue” in his state.
For Ohio residents, these restrictions may create a larger sense of safety. But for thirsty Pennsylvanians, it looks like last call has now passed.