BOSTON (CBS) — Gov. Charlie Baker said starting Tuesday, the state will be cracking down on “bars masquerading as restaurants” by allowing police to enforce coronavirus safety standards.
Safety standards were updated on Friday to clarify that alcoholic beverages can only be served for on-site consumption if accompanied by food prepared on-site. “Potato chips, pretzels, and other pre-packaged or manufactured foods do not constitute food ‘prepared on-site.’” the new restaurant rules state.
Attempts to reopen by serving “pretzels and potato chips” as food “is clearly not consistent with the spirit or the intent of what we put in place when we authorized outdoor dining and indoor dining,” said Baker.
Bars are not set to open until Phase 4 in Massachusetts, which is when there is a coronavirus vaccine.
“Bars are closed in Massachusetts. Bars masquerading as restaurants also need to be closed. Previously, health and inspection officials have been tasked with enforcing many of these COVID orders, today I’m authorizing all state and local police officers to enforce these orders, and event hosts who violate these orders will be subject to fine,” Baker said.
The governor also announced the creation of a COVID Enforcement and Intervention Team to help slow the spread by increasing regulation enforcement, including on gatherings.