Gov. Bullock orders the closure of Montana's dine-in food services, bars and many other businesses

By 
Justin Post — Enterprise Staff Writer
Friday, March 20, 2020
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Downtown Livingston is pictured. (Enterprise photo by Nate Howard)

Gov. Steve Bullock has ordered the closure of Montana’s dine-in food service and alcoholic beverage business in an effort to curtail the spread of new coronavirus.

The governor’s directive permits take-out and food delivery, according to a news release.

The closure is effective at 8 p.m. tonight and ends at 11:59 p.m. on March 27. However, the date will likely be extended, the news release said.

“Both young and older Montanans, in urban and rural communities, have tested positive for coronavirus, making it even more clear that this virus impacts us all and that these actions are imperative to protecting our friends and neighbors,” Gov. Bullock said in a statement. “We face extraordinary health risks – and with it even further risks to our economic and social well-being – if we do not act now. I do not take this decision lightly and it was done so in consultation with public health professionals. Montanans, too, need to take this seriously. It’s up to all of us to stop the spread of this virus.”

Under the Directive, the following places are closed to ingress, egress, use, and occupancy by members of the public:

• Restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, and other similar establishments offering food or beverage for on-premises consumption.

• Alcoholic beverage service businesses, including bars, taverns, brew pubs, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, special licensees, clubs, and other establishments offering alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption.

• Cigar bars.

• Health clubs, health spas, gyms, aquatic centers, pools and hot springs, indoor facilities at ski areas, climbing gyms, fitness studios, and indoor recreational facilities.

• Movie and performance theaters, nightclubs, concert halls, bowling alleys, bingo halls, and music halls.  

• Casinos.

The places subject to the directive are permitted and encouraged to offer food and beverage using delivery service, window service, walk-up service, drive-through service, or drive-up service, and to use precautions in doing so to mitigate the potential transmission of COVID-19, including social distancing, the news release said.

Read this afternoon’s edition of The Livingston Enterprise for more details about the closure.

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