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New York Deems Liquor Stores ‘Essential,’ Says They Can Stay Open During Coronavirus Shutdown

New York has deemed liquor stores to be “essential” and says that they can stay open as all “nonessential” businesses have been forced to close.

In Pennsylvania, where liquor stores are run by the government, they have been closed since Tuesday evening. State health officials in the state have been working on a plan to help people with alcohol dependencies, through Pennsylvania’s Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.
New York’s bars and restaurants may be closed, other than for delivery and takeout, but as things currently stand they have determined that margaritas are essential to keeping people alive during the quarantine — which the governor has warned may go on for up to four months.
USA Today reports that the New York state’s list of essential retail includes “grocery stores including all food and beverage stores” along with pharmacies, convenience stores, farmer’s markets, gas stations, restaurants/bars (for take-out/delivery), hardware and building material stores. Mass transit will stay operational; food delivery and takeout services will stay open.
For the first time, New Yorkers will also now be allowed to have beer delivered to their homes.
The Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America has warned governors against creating a new prohibition, of sorts, and urged them “to keep wine and spirits retailers open as to not encourage bad actors to pop-up black market liquor operations,” in a statement.

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