COVID-19 and Alcohol Beverage Regulation

The National Alcohol Beverage Control Association is working hard to provide its members and partners timely updates on policy changes impacting the regulation of the alcohol supply chain (producer, wholesaler, retailer) in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This webpage will be monitored and updated regularly as new information is available. This area of policy is changing rapidly. Please email communications@nabca.org if you have updates or questions.

NABCA has worked diligently to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided on this website. However, the information is provided “as is” without warranty of any kind and is intended for informational purposes only. This information should not be considered legal advice—and no relationship nor reliance interest should be assumed by its use. For state-specific guidance, NABCA recommends contacting the relevant state authorities or retaining private counsel.

Interactive Dashboards Tracking Policy Changes

NABCA has created several  interactive dashboards to help navigate these resources outlining policy changes. The first dashboard provides comparisons of state action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 based on information compiled from the National Governors Association and from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

State Action General Changes

 

 

Non-Essential Business Closures and Impact on Businesses Selling Beverage Alcohol

NABCA has created an overview of non-essential business closure orders by state compiled from data collected by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Leonine FOCUS. The dashboard provides a state-by-state review of non-essential business closure orders, the expiration of these orders and outlines the type of businesses that sell beverage alcohol that have been deemed essential businesses.

 

NABCA also created these interactive dashboards to help navigate the policy changes impacting the operational changes at on-premise retail channels (e.g., bars, restaurants) and off-premise retail channels (e.g., liquor stores, grocery, convenience stores) as tracked by The Wine Institute and The Wine and Spirit Wholesalers of America.

On-Premise Retail Operational Changes

The On-Premise Retail Operational Changes Dashboard reflects information related to social distancing requirements, curbside and delivery options available, whether food is required for alcohol purchase, and the availability of mixed drinks to go. Mixed drinks is defined as a spirits-based drink mixed on premise and resealed for consumption off premise.

 

 

Off-Premise Retail Operational Changes

The Off-Premise Retail Operational Changes Dashboard reflects information related to operational changes impacting off-premise alcohol retail channels by beverage category and in reference to where each beverage category is normally sold. This means that operational changes impacting only certain retail channels in the larger category (e.g., package alcohol stores) may not apply to every channel (e.g., grocery stores) within that category where alcohol is sold.

 

 

Resources

Below is a list of agencies and organizations that have created resources to track federal and state policy changes to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.


Government

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB)

Many states have temporarily suspended or relaxed the enforcement of certain alcohol regulations and amended the scope of others. TTB has created COVID-19-related guidance that may be implicated by emergency measures taken in states. Read NABCA General Counsel’s Communique on TTB Trade Practice Guidance

Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce by developing an initial list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” to help state and local officials as they work to protect their communities. The list can also inform critical infrastructure community decision-making to determine the sectors, sub-sectors, segments, or critical functions that should continue normal operations. It is appropriately modified to account for Centers for Disease Control (CDC) workforce and customer protection guidance.

For the latest health related expert information and guidance, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.  

Federal Drug Administration (FDA) 

Issued several policies on COVID-19 and alcohol-based hand sanitizer products. The FDA requires all entities who plan to initiate hand sanitizer production, to apply through the FDA Drug Registration and Listing System (DRLS). Upon completion of registration and listing, firms receive automatic confirmation from the FDA and can start manufacturing and distributing products immediately. All records in this system are publicly available through the FDA National Drug Code Directory


Industry Trade Associations

Wine Institute 

Through its State Legislative Team has developed a Google spreadsheet to track policy changes impacting the sale of alcoholic beverages across the country. 

Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) 

Created a robust resource providing legal research and tracking on state policy changes pertaining to the production, distribution and retail sale of alcohol. Resources include information on how states are defining “essential business”, which states are adopting special provisions to permit off-premise alcohol sales through delivery, curbside and takeout, and links to state alcohol regulatory agency websites where additional guidance can be found.

Distilled Spirit Council of the United States (DISCUS) 

Created a web portal to identify distilleries in the U.S. who are producing hand sanitizer to help fight COVID-19.

The American Crafts Spirits Association (ACSA)

Developed COVID-19 resources addressing hand sanitizer production and transportation among other materials related to how the pandemic is impacting craft spirits businesses.


Public Policy Organizations

National Governors Association (NGA)

Tracks state action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including maps and charts on state disaster declarations, National Guard activation, state employee travel restrictions and school closures.

National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) 

Tracks state legislation, both pending and enacted, to address COVID-19. Along with updates on state election status, NCSL is also providing daily monitoring of state fiscal and public education responses to COVID-19. 

National League of Cities and Bloomberg Philanthropies 

Put together a publicly available Google spreadsheet tracking city/local responses to COVID-19. This resource is updated automatically every 5 minutes. 

National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO) 

Setup a dedicated COVID-19 Virtual Community, where best practices can be shared and where health officials can learn from each other about ways to respond. If you are looking for those resources, contact your departments Local Health Official or Preparedness Coordinator. Additionally, NACCHO has weekly calls with key NACCHO workgroups to facilitate real-time discussion and feedback related to the ongoing response.

National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD) 

Collected important COVID-19 updates and resources specific to substance use and created a dedicated webpage on its website. It provides federal guidance released from CDC, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).


Health

Kaiser Family Foundation

A highly respected and trusted source for health information, has created several resources to track states responses to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, including maps and charts related to cases and deaths, adopted social distancing measures, health policy actions to reduce barriers to COVID-19 testing and treatment and provider capacity.

The Network for Public Health Law

Provides resources and webinars for public health agencies, health care workers, emergency managers and policymakers as they grapple with core legal preparedness and response efforts to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.