Under a new measure signed into law by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday, state businesses can continue to sell cocktails in to-go containers, and can now offer customers a free beverage if they have received their COVID-19 vaccinations.
Senate Bill 104, which passed both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly this week, will allow bars and restaurants to offer the free drinks through July 20 in an effort to help drum up business in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bar and restaurant customers would need to show proof of vaccination in order to get the free beverages.
“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. “I’m pleased to sign this legislation into law to offer our hardest-hit businesses another lifeline as we recover from this pandemic.”
To-go cocktails and mixed drinks, which were approved during the height of the pandemic as a way to help hard-hit restaurants and bars, will now be allowed for at least three more years. The measure which allowed the beverages to be served was set to expire this week.
“Our hospitality industry has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, and Senate Bill 104 contains a number of initiatives designed to offer much-needed help,” State Rep. Michael Zalewski said in a statement.
The to-go drinks can only be sold to customers age 21 and older, and must come in a special to-go container, according to the legislation.