Dec 10, 2020

Regional Stay At Home Order

This Industry Advisory summarizes the impact of this Order on businesses holding alcoholic beverage licenses.

Update: This summary has been superseded by the Blueprint for a Safer Economy. As the guidance and response from the California Department of Public Health to the COVID-19 pandemic have changed, the rules and parameters for ABC Licensees have also changed.

Disclaimer: Industry advisories are not regulatory, nor do they have the force of law. These advisories merely provide information about a statute or regulation. Please consult the statute, regulation, and/or an attorney before taking any action to ensure compliance with the law.

On December 3, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a Regional Stay At Home Order to protect the health and well-being of all Californians and to continue facilitating a consistent approach across the state to slow the spread of COVID-19. If a region falls below the 15% ICU threshold, it will have to implement the restrictions in the order beginning 11:59 PM the day after that assessment is made. The order will remain in effect for at least three weeks. If local public health orders are more restrictive, licensees must comply with those.

The information provided in this advisory relates to licensees serving the public. The limitations described do not apply to production line activities that do not involve the public, such as manufacturing or distributing alcoholic beverages (which have been designated as “critical infrastructure” pursuant to Section 3 of the Essential Workforce guidance).

This Industry Advisory clarifies the extent to which licensees may exercise license privileges under the Regional Stay At Home Order:

  1. Restaurants (licensed and required to operate as a bona fide eating place) may exercise off-sale privileges and sell manufacturer sealed containers of beer, wine, and distilled spirits (depending on the privilege of the specific license) for pick-up or delivery. This does not require that alcoholic beverages be sold only in conjunction with meals. Restaurants may also sell “cocktails to-go” (i.e., opened containers of beer, wine, or distilled spirits/mixed drinks) only in conjunction with meals.
  2. Bars, breweries, wineries, and distilleries may exercise off-sale privileges and sell sealed containers of alcohol as permitted by the specific license for pick-up or delivery. This does not require that alcoholic beverages be sold only in conjunction with meals. Bars, breweries, wineries, and craft distilleries that also operate or have the capacity to operate as a restaurant are treated the same as restaurants and may also sell “cocktails to-go” only in conjunction with a meal. If the licensee does not operate its own kitchen, they may partner with a “meal provider” to serve meals.

For licensees exercising off-sale retail privileges as detailed above, customers are permitted on the licensed premises to purchase and/or pick-up alcoholic beverages or meals. However, licensees may not serve any food or beverages to such customers for consumption on the licensed premises while they wait for their order. In addition, the number of people permitted to be on the premises shall not exceed 20% of the occupancy capacity at any given time.

Additional information regarding regulatory relief and the extent to which various licenses may exercise license privileges during this time may be found in prior advice issued by the Department and in this Guidance by License Type.

Please visit Questions and Answers on the COVID-19 website for additional information regarding the Regional Stay At Home Order.


Additional information may be obtained by contacting:

Alcoholic Beverage Control
3927 Lennane Drive, Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95834

Email us at
Call (916) 419-2500