Appeals court overturns emergency order limiting capacity in restaurants, bars

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MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin court of appeals has put a temporary stop to an emergency health order from Gov. Tony Evers’ administration on the day the order was set to expire.

The emergency order, issued in early October, limits the number of people that can be in bars and restaurants to 25% capacity due to the coronavirus pandemic. It was set to expire on Friday.

The Tavern League of Wisconsin filed a lawsuit against the order, and an appeals court overturned it Friday morning.

In response to the injunction, Evers says his administration plans to challenge the decision and is encouraging Wisconsinites to continue following public health guidelines.

“Today’s decision comes as we reported more than 6,000 new COVID-19 cases—the most ever in a single day,” Evers said in a statement Friday. “This is another blow to our state’s response to this pandemic and our efforts to keep Wisconsinites safe. We will continue challenging this decision, but the bottom line is that we can’t wait for the courts to figure this out—we need Wisconsinites to stay home and mask up, and it has to start today. It’s the only way we will get this virus under control and ensure our economy can recover.”