Starting Monday, July 20, the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) joins other retailers to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by stepping up enforcement of the face mask requirement in its stores. While ABC previously required all customers to wear a face mask or face covering prior to shopping in any of their 389 stores, ABC will now deny entry to any customer not wearing a mask. As part of this requirement, ABC will make every attempt to provide a mask to customers who arrive without one. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), face coverings help decrease the spread of COVID-19, and because the virus can be spread by people who don’t have symptoms and don’t know they are infected, it’s critically important for everyone to practice social distancing and wear a face covering in public.
“Evolving guidance from health officials stresses the importance of face masks as a way of protecting the health and well-being of the communities that we serve,” said Chief Executive Officer Travis Hill. “The vast majority of our customers have followed our direction these last few weeks and consistently wear face masks in our stores; however our no mask, no entry policy is to ensure as safe a shopping experience as feasible. We know that it may not be possible for everyone to wear a face covering. In those cases, we suggest curbside pickup as an alternative to in-store shopping.”
ABC offers curbside pickup for online orders at 370 stores across the commonwealth. After placing an online order at www.abc.virginia.gov, customers can opt for contactless pickup of spirits, Virginia wines and mixers from ABC stores the same day the order is placed, as long as the selected products are available in the store.
Over the last few months, Virginia ABC has implemented safety measures using retailer guidance provided by the Virginia Department of Health and the CDC to include:
“We’ve worked hard to create a shopping environment that is safe for customers and employees,” said Hill. “We want a bottle to be the only thing you take home from one of our stores.”
Statewide, ABC stores continue to operate on a modified schedule. Last month, stores returned to their normal, prepandemic closing times, but all stores maintain a noon opening time, seven days a week. Customers can check their local store’s adjusted hours by visiting ABC’s store finder page, www.abc.virginia.gov/stores.
For more information about Virginia ABC’s response to COVID-19, visit https://www.abc.virginia.gov/covid-19.
The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) is a major source of revenue for the commonwealth, contributing more than $2.2 billion to the general fund in the last five years. Virginia ABC currently operates 389 state stores, and provides alcohol education and prevention programs for people of all ages. Its Bureau of Law Enforcement oversees more than 18,000 ABC licensed establishments. Now marking its 86th year, ABC remains committed to progress and innovation in carrying out its vision of bringing good spirits and excellent service to Virginia.Web: www.abc.virginia.gov Facebook: @VirginiaABC Twitter: @VirginiaABC