May 21, 2021

Governor Ducey signed legislation to allow bars, liquor stores and restaurants to sell cocktails to-go, expanding opportunities for businesses.


March 5, 2021

Occupancy percentage limitations expire. Bars must continue to implement physical distancing and mask protocols.


August 27, 2020

Bars and nightclubs providing dine-in services in Apache, Cochise, Coconino, La Paz, Maricopa, Navajo, Pima and Yavapai counties may attest to reopen in compliance with ADHS COVID-19 Guidelines including operating at 50 percent occupancy only if converted to restaurant services.

August 10, 2020

The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) released guidelines and phases for the eventual reopening of bar operations. The benchmarks ”minimal,” “moderate” and “substantial,” as defined by the CDC, are used to determine the level of COVID-19 community spread and indicate reopening phases. Metrics must be met for two consecutive weeks to move into a reopening phase.


ADHS will update a dashboard on Thursdays indicating the reopening benchmark and its metrics each county meets. 


Bars and nightclubs that have a food establishment permit

Substantial: remain closed

Moderate: operate at 50 percent occupancy, only if converted to restaurant service, and encourage outdoor dining

Minimal: operate at 50 percent occupancy, only if converted to a restaurant service until community cases are at a less than 3 percent positivity, then it may operate as a bar


Bars and nightclubs without a food establishment permit

Substantial: remain closed

Moderate: remain closed

Minimal: remain closed until community cases are at a less than 3 percent positivity, then it may operate with 50 percent occupancy


Businesses have the opportunity through the attesstation process for review of individual circumstances in the event that they are denied the ability to reopen for public health reasons.

July 23, 2020

Governor Ducey extended the Executive Order pausing bar operations. The extension will be reviewed for repeal or revision every two weeks.


June 29, 2020

Effective 8 p.m. on June 29, 2020, bars must pause operations. Unless extended, the pause remains in effect until July 27, 2020, after which businesses seeking to resume operations must demonstrate compliance with public health guidance as determined by the Arizona Department of Health Services. 





Resuming Operations for Restaurants and Bars
The Centers for Disease Control provided guidance for businesses in foodservice to maintain healthy operations and a safe work environment for employees.

View guide


Reopening Guidance: A Guide for the Restaurant Industry

For more resources on how you can prepare your restaurant and return stronger view this guide from the National Restaurant Association.

View checklist

Preparing to Reopen Your Restaurant

Local First Arizona, in partnership with AWE Collective and Kind Hospitality have created a detailed and comprehensive guide explaining necessary steps for restaurant reopening.

View guide

Checklist for Reopening
The Brewers Association created a checklist for breweries to reopen safely amid the pandemic. The list includes best practices for sanitation protocols and social distancing.

View checklist

In addition to these guides specific to bars (above), we have several (non-industry specific) guides pertaining to planning and workplace safety.