Judge reinstates emergency order limiting businesses, indoor gatherings to 25% capacity

MADISON, Wis. — A Barron County judge has reinstated an emergency order from Gov. Tony Evers’ administration that limits the number of people who can gather in bars, restaurants and other indoor places to 25% of capacity.

“This critically important ruling will help us prevent the spread of this virus by restoring limits on public gatherings,” Evers said in a statement. “This crisis is urgent. Wisconsinites, stay home. Limit travel and going to gatherings, and please wear a face covering whenever you have to go out.”

Last week, a Wisconsin judge temporarily blocked the order following a lawsuit from the Tavern League of Wisconsin. The Tavern League argued that the order amounted to a “defacto closure.”

Barron County Judge James Babler ruled against keeping the order on hold while the Tavern League’s lawsuit is pending.

“We are obviously disappointed in the ruling and the catastrophic effects it will continue to have on small businesses across Wisconsin,” Tavern League President Chris Marsicano said in a statement on Facebook. “We will continue to operate observing the best practices of the WEDC to provide a safe environment for our employees and customers.”

Babler said there was no evidence those challenging the order have suffered any harm yet.