Rep. William W. O’Brien (D-Dist. 54, North Providence) is commending the lifting of the restaurant curfew calling it the right decision for Rhode Island’s struggling small businesses.

Effective Sunday, January 31, the early closure advisory in the state will be lifted, meaning restaurants and other establishments will no longer need to close at 10 pm on weekdays and 10:30 pm.

“I commend the Department of Health for finally lifting the curfews that have placed incredible stress on our state’s restaurants and small businesses.  I also commend our small businesses for weathering this brutal storm and for their advocacy in supporting their small businesses and employees.  We are beginning to see the light at the end of this dark tunnel and as our state’s virus metrics continue to trend downward, this was the appropriate decision for the health and betterment of our storied restaurant scene,” said Representative O’Brien.

“But, I believe we should also be opening the bar areas in these restaurants as well.  There is no evidence that the virus behaves differently at a bar compared to a restaurant table and in addition to the thousands of dollars these establishments invested in COVID-19 safety procedures and PPE, I urge that the Department of Health also lifts the restrictions on bar areas in restaurants,” concluded Representative O’Brien.