HOUSTON, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson on Thursday announced that bars, restaurants and private clubs that sell alcohol in the state must close by 11 p.m., a new effort to curb the renewed COVID-19 surge.
The new order, announced in a release, is effective on Friday and runs through Jan. 3.
"In an effort to reduce the spread of the virus as a result of prolonged social interaction in group settings, I am accepting the recommendation of the Winter COVID Task Force to require bars, restaurants, and clubs that sell alcohol for consumption in their establishment to close at 11 p.m.," Hutchinson said in the release. "This is a balanced approach that is limited and targeted as we work to reduce new COVID cases in our state."
According to the governor, violations could lead to a fine of between 100 U.S. dollars and 500 dollars or up to a month in jail.
COVID-19 cases in the southern state have been increasing at an accelerated pace in the past weeks. According to the Arkansas Department of Health, as of Wednesday, there were 139,855 total COVID-19 cases and 2,297 deaths in the state since the beginning of the pandemic.
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