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Alpharetta Adopts Emergency Ordinance Prohibiting Restaurant Dine-In; Announces Other Measures

Released March 20, 2020 05:36 PM
As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Alpharetta has enacted an emergency ordinance temporarily prohibiting dine-in service at restaurants, bars, and other food-serving establishments.  Take-out, take-away, and delivery service is still allowed.  The ordinance also bans any activity that would result in the gathering of 10 or more people at restaurants, gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, arcades, movie theaters, live performance venues, and public and private clubs.  The changes go into effect immediately.

All businesses affected by this ordinance and authorized to sell alcoholic beverages for on premise consumption, while the ordinance is in effect, shall be authorized to sell to customers whom simultaneously purchase food, unopened bottles of beer and/or wine for consumption off premise; provided, however, that delivery of alcoholic beverages shall be strictly prohibited.

“Unfortunately, some members of the public are ignoring the social distancing measures that the CDC and other public health agencies have prescribed to help slow and contain the spread of COVID-19,” stated Alpharetta Mayor Jim Gilvin.  “Their poor decisions have made it necessary to enact these strong measures in order to protect the public.  I truly hope that today’s actions send a strong message that causes everyone to understand the seriousness of the current health threat and practice social distancing and the other common sense measures outlined by federal, state, and county public health agencies so we are not forced to enact more stringent measures.”

The current guidelines issued by public health agencies call for individuals to maintain distances of at least 6 feet between themselves and others and to avoid gathering in groups of ten or more. The guidelines also advise washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your face, and staying home if you are sick.

The City of Alpharetta has also expanded its cancellation of public events organized, sponsored, or permitted by the City to include any such events through May 10.  The cancellation includes Alpharetta’s largest annual event, the Taste of Alpharetta, which was planned for May 7 and typically draws crowds in excess of 40,000 to the North Fulton city’s downtown core.

The City closed all its indoor facilities to the public beginning March 16 but plans to leave its parks and outdoor spaces open for public use for now.  To discourage gatherings of 10 or more and encourage patrons to maintain distances of at least 6 feet from one another, however, temporary signage will be placed in the parks.

“We know that the steps we are taking mean all of us are being inconvenienced, but they are absolutely necessary if we are going to control the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” Gilvin said.  “Right now we need everyone to do their part.”