In a special-called meeting on Thursday, the Auburn City Council rescinded its state of local emergency, ending the prohibition on walk-up bar service in establishments with an alcohol license.
All Councilmembers voted for the resolution to rescind the order, which goes into effect immediately. Restaurants and bars may now offer walk-up bar service indoors, and patrons may now stand while holding an alcoholic beverage indoors.
The state of local emergency was put in place Aug. 28 after Auburn University students were seen crowding downtown bars without wearing masks or social distancing during the weekends after returning for the fall semester. The Council extended the order at its second meeting in September and originally set it to expire on Oct. 7.
The City Council's measure follows a move by the Alabama Beverage Control Board, which rescinded its 11 p.m. curfew for alcohol sales at restaurants and bars during an emergency meeting on Tuesday afternoon. The order to rescind the curfew, which has been in place since last July, went into effect immediately.
"Our goal all along has been to relieve these restricted hours as soon as we could do so safely," said ABC Board Chairman Alan Spencer, according to the Montgomery Advertiser. "We recognize full well this not only impacted bar owners and their employees, but their customers as well."
The lifting of the curfew was welcome news to bar owners in downtown Auburn, with many opting to immediately extend their hours back to the normal 2 a.m. closing time.
The ABC Board still requires that establishments serving alcohol adhere to the limit of 50 percent capacity, the mask mandate for patrons and employees, and social distancing requirements, among other regulations.
Any ABC licensee found to be in violation of the emergency order risks the immediate suspension of its ABC license, according to the order.