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Restaurants, bars advised to follow emergency rules

Mayor: Failure to do so could result in one-day shutdown

The Maui News

Maui County Mayor Michael Victorino warned Thursday that licensed liquor establishments that do not comply with COVID-19 public health emergency rules could face a one-day closure.

The Department of Liquor Control reports complaints and violations of emergency rules, such as not wearing face masks and not observing physical distancing, county spokesman Brian Perry said Thursday. So far, these incidents have been handled by the department under liquor laws and no shutdowns have been ordered.

Perry said that Thursday’s announcement was meant to put “establishments on notice of 24-hour closures for failure to comply” with public health emergency rules from this point on. If violations are found during inspections or based on complaints, then establishments face 24-hour closures.

Further penalties for violation of liquor laws and public safety emergency rules can include a reprimand, fine, suspension and revocation of liquor license.

“These public health emergency rules are in place to protect our residents from the spread of COVID-19,” Victorino said. “I thank liquor establishments that are diligent about following required health and safety protocols.

“Other establishments are put on notice that the County of Maui is ready to close those that fail to comply. It is the responsibility of each establishment to know the rules and follow them for the health and safety of their employees, customers and our community.”

Closures will be ordered by the Department of Liquor Control, with the assistance of the Maui Police Department, during routine inspections or based on complaints. The closure will allow the establishment to come into compliance with the COVID-19 rules. These include protocols that address sanitation, physical distancing and the wearing of masks.

For more information on requirements, see the Public Health Emergency Rules on the department’s website at https://www.mauicounty.gov/667/Liquor-Control under COVID-19 Precautionary Measures.

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