MASON CITY, Iowa - For Iowa bar and restaurant owners, enforcement of social distancing requirements will get tighter.
The Alcoholic Beverages Division (ABD) and the Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) are working together that businesses follow guidelines set forth by Governor Reynolds' public health disaster proclamation. The proclamation requires that establishments create at least a 6 ft. physical distance between each group or individual drinking or dining alone, all patrons must be seated at a table or bar, and that they must limit patrons from congregating together closer than 6 ft.
Since reopening to dine-in customers, Stampede's Sports Bar & Grill owner Chad Leer has been following what the state issued.
"Tables are spaced out about 6 ft. apart, no more than 10 at a table."
But for smaller bars, it may not be easy to implement.
"Smaller places are really going to have a hard time. We have the room here, we got 13 tables downstairs we can use, 8 upstairs, if we don't use the back room."
For businesses with an alcoholic beverage permit or license, the ABD will issue a $1,000 fine on the first offense, with only a warning for those with only a food license. On the second offense, a 7-day license suspension would be implemented. A third would result in the loss of all food and alcohol permits and licenses.