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Customers stock up on alcohol as Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores across Pennsylvania close as part of COVID-19 mitigation

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board says the closures will last at least until the end of the month

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The race to get wine and spirits is on across Pennsylvania. 

After consultation with the Wolf Administration and Pennsylvania Department of Health, today the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board announced the indefinite closure of all Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores, effective at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

The closures are part of the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, the PLCB said.

"Come on, people! Come down the liquor store. Get your stuff!" exclaimed Tracey Miller of Lancaster County.

"It's a good precaution because we really don't know what we're up against," said Julie Kemper-Kunkle of York.

Some people at Fine Wine and Good Spirits in Manheim Township, Lancaster County are preparing to be stuck at home with bottles of their choice drinks.

“We might have a baby craze in the next 9 months," said Rocko Pastorella of Lancaster County. "Some boxed wine for the wife and some bourbon for me. She sent me out she's at home with the kids so I am sure she'll need it after that."

"You might not be able to get any alcohol for a while I think it might be more than 2 weeks," added Kemper-Kunkle.

"Well, I got a cheaper bottle so that I can mix it with stuff, and then, I got some good stuff so that I can drink a nice martini," said Linda Beam of Lancaster County.

"I got some rum - two different types of rum - pineapple and coconut," added Miller. 

Many people are looking on the bright side as the alternative isn’t so positive.

"We can still look out out on our porches and enjoy ourselves. That’s the positive side," added Linda Beam of Lancaster County.  

"You can't get away from what's going on. I mean, it is what it is. Just be smart enough to protect yourself. Protect the rest of the people, and you know, we will move on," said Miller.

“This was a tremendously difficult decision to make, and we understand the disruption our store closures will have on consumers and licensees across the commonwealth,” said Board Chairman Tim Holden.  “But in these uncertain and unprecedented times, the public health crisis and mitigation effort must take priority over the sale of wine and spirits, as the health and safety of our employees and communities is paramount.”

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All stores in counties other than Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties will remain through 9 p.m. Tuesday, the PLCB said. Stores in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties were already designated for closure at the end of business hours Monday.

Toward the end of the month, the PLCB said it will re-evaluate its operations, guided by the strategy developed by the Governor’s Office and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.