CHICAGO (CBS) —Illinois bars and restaurants will be able to sell cocktails to go for another three years, after Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday signed an extension of a state law designed to give the struggling hospitality industry a boost during the pandemic.
The legislation also allows for bars and restaurants to offer customers a free beer, glass of wine, or shot of booze if they show proof of vaccination, as incentive for more people to get the COVID-19 shot.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Storms Headed Our Way After Midnight; Damaging Winds And Heavy Rain Possible
“Not only will the vaccine protect you from getting sick — your free COVID-19 shot can now get you a free shot of your choosing or whatever drink suits your palate,” Pritzker said in a statement. “I’m pleased to sign this legislation into law to offer our hardest-hit businesses another lifeline as we recover from the pandemic.”
Restaurants and bars would be allowed to give the free drink between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. from June 10 through July 10 to people who show proof they’ve been vaccinated. Customers would be allowed only one free drink through the promotion, and businesses are not required to offer the incentive.READ MORE: Some Residents Say A Bears Move To Arlington Heights Would Benefit Community, Others Say It Would Bring Unwelcome Traffic And Crowds
The law also allows bars and restaurants to continue selling pre-mixed cocktails to go for another three years. That state law, originally signed by Pritzker last summer, was set to expire Wednesday, but the governor and state lawmakers agreed to keep it going through Jan 3, 2024.
Under the law, establishments could sell pre-mixed cocktails or a single serving of wine for carryout or delivery, but not through third-party delivery apps like Grubhub or Uber Eats. The drinks would have to be in sealed containers.MORE NEWS: Man Shot, Critically Wounded In Attempted Carjacking Just West Of Magnificent Mile
“Cocktails-to-go is a lifeline to restaurants to survive the pandemic,” said Illinois State Sen. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), one of the sponsors of the legislation. “Any tool we can provide to help keep this vibrant industry going while they are rebuilding is critical.”