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Kansas governor signs legislation keeping cocktails to go

May 19, 2021 GMT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — People will be able to get beer and cocktails to go in Kansas after the coronavirus pandemic thanks to a measure signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Laura Kelly.

The new law will allow to-go beer and alcoholic drinks from clubs, bars and restaurants until 11 p.m., as long as the drinks are in sealed containers and clear bags that discourage tampering. Lawmakers approved the measure earlier this month, and it takes effect later this month.

It continues a policy Kelly set by executive order in April 2020 when Kansas was under a statewide stay-at-home order and that remained in effect through March.

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States has said such temporary policies in more than 30 states were “a lifeline” to a hospitality industry hit hard by the pandemic, but consumers ended up liking the convenience.

The council said 11 other states have made cocktails to go permanent, including Arkansas, Iowa, Oklahoma and Texas, along with the District of Columbia. Another six have extended temporary policies at least into next year.