Kim Reynolds, Governor
Adam Gregg, Lt. Governor
Stephen Larson, Administrator

COVID-19 Updates

This page provides updates related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including public health information, State of Iowa mitigation efforts, and changes to ABD operations that may impact our licensees.

This page will be updated on a rolling basis as new information is released and/or new changes are implemented. Please bookmark this page and check back often.

Any alcoholic beverage-related questions not addressed on this page may be sent to education@iowaabd.com.

Last Update: 11/19/20

Scroll down to see all of the updates or choose a topic below:

Public Health and Mitigation Effort Updates

The latest public health information related to COVID-19 issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health can be found here.

The latest updates from Gov. Kim Reynolds on the State of Iowa’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts can be found here.

A collection of COVID-19-related information from Iowa state agencies can be found here.

All of the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau’s (TTB) COVID-19-related news and guidance can be found here.

Appointment-Only Access to ABD Offices

ABD is committed to mitigating the spread of COVID-19. There will be no access to the building by the general public without an appointment. If you need an in-person appointment or have questions, please contact 515-281-7400.

Recordkeeping Requirements

It is important that all license/permit holders maintain accurate records including, but not limited to, income statements, balance sheets, purchase and sales invoices, and purchase and sales ledgers especially for sales related to new privileges extended through the Governor's proclamations. 

Use of Masks or Face Coverings Indoors

Effective at 12:01 a.m. on November 17, and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on December 10: 

All people two or older must wear a mask or other face covering when inside an indoor space that is open to the public and within six feet of individuals who are not members of their household for 15 minutes or longer. Please see the proclamation for exceptions.
Last updated 11/17/20

Restaurants and Bars

Effective at 12:01 a.m. on November 17, and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on December 10: 

A restaurant or bar, including a wedding reception venue, winery, brewery, distillery, country club, or other social or fraternal club, may reopen or remain open to serve food and beverages on its premises, but only to the extent that it complies with the following requirements:

  • Hours limited: The establishment must close to the general public for in-person consumption on its premises at 10:00 p.m. and may not reopen until 6:00 a.m. the following day. No serving or consuming may occur on the premises after 10:00 p.m. This does not prohibit an establishment from continuing to serve food or beverages, to the extent permitted by applicable law if the food or beverages are promptly taken from the premises, such as a carry-out or drive through basis, or if the food or beverage is delivered to customers off the premises.

  • Social distancing: The establishment must ensure at least six feet of physical distance between each group or individual dining alone. Seating at booths closer than six feet may satisfy this requirement if the booths are separated by a barrier of a sufficient height to fully separate seated customers. All patrons must have a seat at a table or booth and must consume their food or beverage while seated at the table or booth. Seating at a bar is not allowed. Establishments must limit patrons from congregating together closer than six feet.

  • Groups limited: The establishment must limit the group size seated together to no more than eight people unless all members of the group are members of the same household. 

  • Private gatherings prohibited: The establishment must not host private social gatherings larger than 15 people indoors or 30 people outdoors that are prohibited by this Proclamation, regardless of the group size seated together at a table.

  • Masks required while not seated: The establishment must require all customers to wear a mask or face covering while in the establishment unless seated at a properly distanced booth or table. This includes while participating in any games, pool, arcades, dancing, or karaoke. The establishment must also require all employees who interact with customers to wear a mask or face covering.

  • Other social distancing, hygiene, and public health measures: The restaurant shall also implement reasonable measures under the circumstances of each restaurant to ensure social distancing of employees and customers, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals and the Iowa Department of Public Health.

A printable “Social Distancing 101” PDF can be found here.

A printable "Have a Seat" PDF can be found here.

If you have further questions related to food safety guidelines, please email the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) at food@dia.iowa.gov. DIA also has additional guidance related to food service available on their website.

State and local peace officers have a duty to enforce lawful public health orders within their respective jurisdictions. Any person who knowingly violates the provisions of the public health emergency declaration or a lawful order of an officer is guilty of a simple misdemeanor.

The Iowa Economic Development Authority has information available for business owners who are impacted by a COVID-19-related closure.
Last updated 11/19/20

Mass Gatherings and Events

Effective at 12:01 a.m. on November 17, and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on December 10: 

  • Indoor gatherings of more than 15 people prohibited: Social, community, business, or leisure gatherings or events of more than 15 people are prohibited at all indoor locations and venues unless explicitly permitted by this Proclamation or all members of the gathering live in the same household. This includes wedding and funeral receptions, family gatherings, festivals, conventions, fundraisers, and other nonessential gatherings and events where people who do not ordinarily live or work together congregate indoors. This section does not apply to restrict gatherings that occur during the ordinary course of business or government between employees or members of the public, including but not limited to gatherings in an office or manufacturing workplace, normal retail operations, or other establishments explicitly addressed in this Proclamation.

  • Outdoor gatherings of more than 30 people prohibited: Social, community, business, or leisure gatherings or events of more than 30 people are prohibited at all outdoor locations and venues unless explicitly permitted by this Proclamation or all members of the gathering live in the same household. This includes wedding and funeral receptions, family gatherings, festivals, conventions, fundraisers, and other nonessential gatherings and events where people who do not ordinarily live or work together congregate indoors. This section does not apply to restrict gatherings that occur during the ordinary course of business or government between employees or members of the public, including but not limited to gatherings in an office or manufacturing workplace, normal retail operations, or other establishments explicitly addressed in this Proclamation.

Last updated 11/17/20

Theaters and Performance Venues

Effective at 12:01 a.m. on November 17, and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on December 10:

Any theater or performance venue at which motion pictures are shown or live performances are held may reopen or remain open, but only to the extent that the theater complies with the following requirements:

  • Social distancing: The theater or performance venue must ensure at least six feet of physical distance between each group or individual attending alone when seated in the theater.

  • Other social distancing, hygiene, and public health measures: The theater shall also implement reasonable measures under the circumstances of each theater to ensure social distancing of employees and customers, increased hygiene practices, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 consistent with guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health and, for any food service, the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals.

Last Updated 11/17/20

License Expiration Information

On November 10, the Governor extended previous proclamations temporarily suspending expiration of alcohol licenses/permits. If you have one of the following licenses/permits that has an expiration date of 5/6/2020 or after, you will receive notification from ABD as to next steps to ensure that your license/permit is renewed in a timely manner following the termination of this proclamation.  Your license/permit fee for your renewal will not be withdrawn from your account until after the proclamation terminates (a date uncertain at this time).

  • Class A Liquor License
  • Class B Liquor License
  • Class C Liquor License
  • Special Class C Liquor License
  • Class B Beer Permit
  • Class C Native Wine Permit​​

Last updated 11/10/20

Temporary Deferral of Beer Barrel Tax and Wine Gallonage Tax Reporting and Remittance

Reporting and remittance of beer barrel tax and wine gallonage tax has been deferred for the months of February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, and November 2020. The 10 percent penalty for late filing for the months listed above may appear as owed but will be waived. 
Last updated 11/10/20

Dramshop Insurance

On-premises licensees and permittees are reminded that a dramshop insurance policy must be in effect in order to hold an active license/permit.

The Iowa Insurance Division is very aware of the difficulties this pandemic has placed on consumers, businesses, and the insurance markets. While this is a contractual matter between the consumers and the insurers, the Iowa Insurance Division's Market Regulation Bureau is tasked specifically with receiving and reviewing complaints from consumers / businesses to ensure that insurance coverage was applied as per the contract.

The Insurance Division has not issued directives to carriers to adjust their payment arrangements and renewals/cancellation policies with policyholders except in the instance for Individual and Small Group Coverage Impacted by COVID-19 described in Bulletin# 20-04. You may monitor Insurance Division activities at https://iid.iowa.gov/news-reports-legal-info.

The Insurance Division has learned that some insurance carriers have begun to institute various adjustments for policyholders that have experienced hardships due to COVID-19. We would recommend that you contact your insurance company to discuss your specific situation and how this may impact your insurance policy contract you have with your company.

If you still have concerns after speaking with your company, you may file a complaint at https://iid.iowa.gov/insurance-consumer-complaint. Consumers may also call the Insurance Division at 515-281-6348.

Delivering Alcohol to Consumers

Licensees and permittees authorized to sell alcoholic liquor, wine, or beer in original unopened containers for off-premises consumption may deliver alcoholic liquor, wine, or beer to a home, another licensed premises if there is identical ownership of the premises by the licensee or permittee, or other designated location in this state. Deliveries are limited to alcoholic beverages authorized by the licensee’s or permittee’s license or permit. Click here to view the requirements for delivery outlined in Iowa Code 123.46A. Please note, due to COVID-19 transmission concerns, the person delivering the alcohol may document that the recipient's ID has been validated instead of having the recipient sign for delivery.

Alcoholic Beverage Returns to Wholesalers by Retailers

On-premises retailers who have been impacted by temporary shutdown orders due to COVID-19 are authorized by ABD and the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) to return alcoholic liquor, wine, or beer in original, unopened containers to the appropriate wholesaler, provided:

  • The original sale of the alcoholic beverages by the wholesaler to the retailer was made  without the privilege of return as part of the sales agreement,
    AND
  • The wholesaler consents to the return. Wholesalers are under no obligation to accept returns.

ABD may accept alcoholic liquor returned to class “E” liquor licensees by class “C” liquor licensees under the following conditions:

  • The alcoholic liquor is in its original, unopened container.
    AND
  • The alcoholic liquor was purchased from the class “E” liquor licensee on or after March 1, 2020.
    AND
  • The class “E” or class “C” liquor licensee has a sales invoice showing the alcoholic liquor being returned to ABD was sold to the class “C” liquor licensee.

ABD may accept alcoholic liquor returns from class “E” liquor licensees who purchased the alcoholic liquor in anticipation of selling it to class “C” liquor licensees under the following conditions:

  • The alcoholic liquor is in its original, unopened container.
    AND
  • The alcoholic liquor was purchased from ABD on or after March 1, 2020.

ABD is adhering to TTB’s guidance on returns due to event cancellations related to COVID-19, which states:

"Given the unexpected and widespread nature of the concerns involving COVID-19, TTB will not consider returns of alcohol beverage products purchased to sell during such cancelled events to violate federal consignment sales rules provided the products were not initially purchased or sold with the privilege of return. Even though such returns are lawful, a producer or wholesaler is not required to accept returns of such products."

Outdoor Service Areas for Selling and Serving Alcohol

Alcohol licensees are able to add outdoor service areas to their licensed premises, or expand outdoor service areas already designated in their licensed premises, for the selling and serving of alcohol.

To add or expand an outdoor service area, please log in to ABD’s eLicensing site. Step-by-step instructions for submitting an outdoor service application once logged in can be found here. All outdoor service applications require a dramshop carrier endorsement, local authority approval, and ABD approval. There is no additional licensing fee to add or expand an outdoor service area.  

Please note that any area to be added to the licensed premises as an outdoor service area must meet the following requirements:

  • The area must touch or share a common border with the currently-licensed premises.
  • The area must be owned or under the control of the licensee. Control of the area may be demonstrated by a lease or other agreement. 
  • A sketch of the outdoor service area must be submitted to the local authority. The sketch must show the area’s boundaries and its relationship to the licensed premises.

Some cities may have local ordinances restricting outdoor service areas in their jurisdiction. Licensees will need to work with their local authorities to ensure that a proposed outdoor service area is allowable.

If an outdoor service application is approved, the licensee and the local authority will receive email notification from ABD. Once an outdoor service area has been licensed, only those alcoholic beverages allowed to be sold by the licensee’s license/permit may be served (ex: class “C” liquor licensees could sell beer, wine, or alcoholic liquor for on-premises consumption in the outdoor service area).

Licensees with questions regarding outdoor service areas, please email licensing@iowaabd.com.
Last updated 5/22/20

Refunds for 6- or 8-month or 5- or 14-day Licenses/Permits

Any licensee or permittee issued a 5- or 14-day temporary license/permit that no longer needs or intends to use the license/permit because of an event postponement, cancellation, or other circumstance due or related to COVID-19 may request a refund of the license/permit fee provided:

  • The request is made before the effective date listed on the license/permit.
    AND
  • The request for refund is received on or before November 30, 2020.

Any licensee or permittee issued a 6- or 8-month seasonal license/permit that no longer needs or intends to use the license/permit because of an event postponement, cancellation or other circumstance due or related to COVID-19 may request a refund of the license/permit fee provided the request for refund is received on or before November 30, 2020.

Requests for refunds should be sent via email to licensing@iowaabd.com and include the following information:

  • The name of the person seeking a refund.
    AND
  • The license/permit number of the issued license/permit.
    AND
  • The specific circumstances leading to a refund being sought.
    AND
  • A telephone number at which the requester can be contacted in the event of questions.

Any person who has submitted an application for a 6- or 8-month or 5- or 14-day license/permit and would like to withdraw the application is encouraged to contact ABD via email at licensing@iowaabd.com immediately. Please include in the email the application number (ex: LC_V_1234) and a telephone number at which you can be contacted.
Last updated 11/10/20

Temporary Postponement of TTB Document Reporting to ABD

On March 31, the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) announced that it would postpone several filing and payment due dates for 90 days where the original due date falls on or after March 1, 2020, through July 1, 2020. More information can be found here.

Per ABD Regulatory Bulletin RB-2019-02, Iowa liquor manufacturers, native distilleries, native breweries, brewpubs, and native wineries are authorized to submit their TTB documents to ABD on the same schedule that they are filed with TTB. Please submit all documents filed with TTB to ABD according to TTB’s new scheduled reporting dates.

Information on Manufacturing Hand Sanitizer

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has issued guidance on the production of hand sanitizer by distilled spirits permittees here.

Alcohol manufactured in Iowa pursuant to an experimental distilled spirits plant permit or its equivalent issued by TTB is not an “alcoholic liquor.” As such, ABD does not regulate this type of manufacturing. Therefore, ABD does not need to waive any regulations and does not have any additional requirements for Iowa liquor manufacturers and native distilleries manufacturing hand sanitizer.

Expired Driver’s License/ID

The Iowa Department of Transportation has issued guidance regarding expired driver’s licenses and IDs.

Any of the following may temporarily be considered valid proof of identification, assuming it meets all other requirements (such as date of birth, etc.):

  • An expired Iowa driver’s license plus 6-month or 12-month extension notice from the Iowa DOT, or
  • An expired Iowa driver’s license or ID card with a printed expiration date of January 16, 2020 or after that date.
  • An expired Iowa driver’s license that expired within 60 days of the current date.

 
Last updated 10/16/20

Printed from the website on November 25, 2020 at 12:13pm.