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Omaha World Herald

Nebraska restaurants can now offer carry-out alcohol permanently under a new state law inspired by Gov. Pete Ricketts’ efforts to help struggling businesses during the pandemic. Ricketts announced that he signed the measure into law. It went into effect immediately. The governor issued an executive order to allow carry-out alcohol in March 2020 to aid restaurants that were struggling financially because of the pandemic and mandatory social distancing restrictions. The order proved popular with the public, and some restaurants reported that it had helped their sales.

Strictly Business Omaha

Nebraska restaurants that were allowed to start selling carryout cocktails amid the pandemic want to continue doing so even after it wanes. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the Nebraska Restaurant Association plans to push for the expansion during the upcoming 2021 legislative session. The group's executive director, Zoe Olson, said it's proposal would include a requirement for some sort of seal on carryout beverages that, if broken, would indicate that someone had opened their takeout drink in transit.

State health officials reported one additional death from COVID-19 in Nebraska yesterday. There are now 164 deaths from the virus in the state, and 13-thousand-261 confirmed cases. The Department of Health and Human Services says 41-percent of hospital beds and 79-percent of ventilators are available. Lincoln Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird announced yesterday that she will allow some local restaurants to expand their outdoor dining areas. Baird said she will take emergency action to give the restaurants the opportunity to increase their capacity while maintaining social distancing guidelines.

Governor Updates Directed Health Measures

Apr 30, 2020

(Lincoln, NE)  --  Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts is announcing updates to Directed Health Measures.  Douglas, Cass, Sarpy and several other counties will have relaxed Directed Health Measure guidelines for restaurants starting May 4th.  The changes call for restaurants to have 50-percent capacity, no bar seating, no buffets and no salad bars.  Customers can only consume alcohol with a meal, and no more than six people can be seated at a table.

Nebraskans who order takeout during the coronavirus pandemic may soon be able to get a side of bread, milk and toilet paper from their local restaurant. Gov. Pete Ricketts says he is relaxing state rules that govern what local eateries can sell to give them more flexibility as they struggle with sharp declines in business. The move would allow restaurants to sell food and other goods not labeled for retail sale, including eggs, butter, cereal, produce and disinfectants.