Governor Henry McMaster to remove “last call” order, lift restrictions on large gatherings

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– In a statement released Friday, Governor Henry McMaster said that he will lift COVID-19 safety restrictions related to the sale of alcohol and mass gatherings. The governor says the termination of the “last call” order, which banned the sale of alcohol past 11 p.m., will be effective Monday, March 1. According to the governor, on Monday, Department of Commerce approval for events with over 250 people will no longer be required.

“With the spread of the virus consistently decreasing across the country and more of the most vulnerable South Carolinians being vaccinated every day, I believe these targeted and limited safety measures are no longer necessary,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “The virus is still among us and we all must continue to make responsible decisions to take care of ourselves and our loved ones, but those decisions are for South Carolinians to make.”

Officials urge all South Carolinians to continue to take safety precautions including social distancing and wearing face coverings.

“Many South Carolinians have done their part by practicing the prevention measures we know work,” said DHEC Director Dr. Edward Simmer. “We are here today because of our citizens’ careful and ongoing efforts and we thank you for taking care of each other and putting your community and people first. I urge you to continue wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart, staying home and away from others if you’re sick and when it’s your time, get a safe and effective vaccine. Working together, we will defeat COVID-19.”

While no longer required, the governor recommends that those in charge of large gatherings implement the following procedures to create as safe an environment as possible:

  • Limit attendance of large gatherings to either 50% of the event space’s posted occupancy limit or fewer than 250 people
  • All employees, customers, patrons, suppliers, vendors, visitors or other people in attendance at a large gathering should wear a face covering
  • Organizers, operators, owners, or hosts of a large gathering shall take reasonable steps to incorporate, implement, comply with, and adhere to any relevant sanitation, “social distancing,” and hygiene guidelines established by the CDC, DHEC, or any other state or federal public health officials.


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