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Auburn council to revisit bar restrictions

Auburn council to revisit bar restrictions

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Patrons can get their own drinks from indoor bars again in Auburn, after the city council voted Thursday to end the local order restricting foot traffic inside bars and restaurants.

The Auburn City Council will meet Thursday to discuss the State of Local Emergency still in place that prohibits customers from walking up to bars indoors to order drinks.

The council voted 6-3 last month to extend the order through Oct. 7, in anticipation of Gov. Kay Ivey extending the state's Safer at Home restrictions.

She did so Wednesday morning.

In a related move, the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board also voted this week to end the restriction against bars and restaurants selling alcohol past 11 p.m.

Local order

The Auburn city order includes police monitoring of social distancing in downtown bars, and prohibits customers from getting their own drinks inside bars.

Mayor Ron Anders sought the council's support for the move last month after conferring with Auburn University and East Alabama Medical Center officials. He said the order appeared to be working, as local COVID-19 case numbers had stabilized.

Councilman Jay Hovey voted against the extension Sept. 15.

“I understand and respect what we’re trying to do here…I just hate to see whose livelihood depends on a normal course of action be shut down by some actions we take,” Hovey said.

Zoom meeting

A link to Thursday's meeting, set for noon via Zoom, will be posted at auburnalabama.org/coronavirus/meeting-updates for anyone who wants to attend.

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