Wisconsin bars packed after court blocks coronavirus shutdown order

Hours after Wisconsin’s Supreme Court blocked an extension of the state’s coronavirus stay-at-home order, patrons flooded bars to celebrate after a trade association gave businesses the green light to “OPEN IMMEDIATELY.”

In a 4-3 ruling, the court ruled that Gov. Tony Evers’ administration overstepped its authority when it pushed the shutdown to May 26 – but the conservative majority agreed to keep the measure in effect until May 20 to give lawmakers time to come up with a new coronavirus plan.

The Tavern League of Wisconsin welcomed the court’s ruling, saying in a message on Facebook to its roughly 5,000 members: “We will get you a more detailed summary of the decision, however, according to the ruling you can OPEN IMMEDIATELY!”

The post recommended that bars follow the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. guidelines, which include having employees wear face masks and gloves and enforce social distancing when possible, according to Fox News.

But Nick’s Bar in Platteville shared a photo on Twitter with the caption: “45 minutes after the bars open in Wisconsin” showing the joint packed with dozens of people, none of whom were wearing masks or observing social distancing.

Meanwhile, customers not wearing masks also flocked to the Iron Hog Saloon in the town of Port Washington, where owner Chad Ardnt said his nine employees had not been paid in months, according to WISN.

Ardnt told the news outlet that his bar has enhanced its cleaning protocols, but understands if customers do not want to come back right away.

“If they don’t feel that it’s good to come out yet, more to them. But I hope they respect my feelings on, I would like to come out and I would like to start getting the economy going again,” he said.

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