If you're in Denver, chances are you've heard about the state's statewide "Safer At Home" executive order that bars must not serve alcohol past 10 p.m.
Earlier this month, Governor Jared Polis pushed back the last call to 11 p.m.
He also amended the order to tie each county's last call time to its COVID-19 status, which can be found on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment website.
New rules imposed by Colorado Governor Jared Polis have moved last calls in Denver restaurants to 1 or 2 a.m. Depending on the county, according to the Department of Public Health and Environment.
The COVID-19 dial framework is a set of restrictions counties must follow as local coronavirus cases rise, including limits on capacity at restaurants and other businesses, indoor and outdoor events. Levels Red, Orange, Yellow and Blue on the dial are designated based on three metrics: incidence rate, percentage of positive COVID-19 tests and hospitalization rates.
The state is now shifting counties to Level Orange if the county's rate of new cases has increased by more than 1% in the last two weeks, its percent of positive COVID-19 tests has gone above 10% or hospitalizations are rising. In contrast, Level Yellow has metrics that include a seven-day case incidence rate of 100-300 per 100,000 residents and a positivity rate of 7.5% or less.
Colorado restaurants and concerts can now have last calls as late as 2 a.m. – a full two hours earlier than before, thanks to new rules signed by Gov. Jared Polis in March.
The new restrictions are part of a broader COVID-19 update that also includes a change for businesses certified through the state’s 5-Star State Certification Program. That allows them to operate with stepped-up COVID-19 safety protocols and follow restrictions that are one level lower on the dial than they would be without certification.
According to the State Department of Public Health and Environment, Level Blue is the second-least restrictive restriction tier. It allows restaurants and seated indoor events to expand capacity up to 225 people without using the distancing space calculator.
This change is effective as of March 7. The rest of the Denver metro area is currently in Level Yellow. This round of lessened restrictions runs for thirty days.
The state of Colorado uses a COVID dial to determine what level green is last call in each county. The higher up on the scale the COVID dial, the longer a restaurant is allowed to serve alcohol.
While most restaurants in Denver have been permitted to extend their last calls by two hours, some businesses are taking it to the next level by offering to-go options and even in-house delivery services. This allows customers to order a bottle of wine, beer or cocktails and have it delivered right to their door.
The best part about this is that it will save you money in the long run, which can be applied to other items on your wish list like a new car or house. Moreover, you will be able to enjoy the night sky with a beautiful view of Denver’s majestic cityscape in your pajamas! And you will be able to save time by avoiding the commute of getting to work.
Last call at most restaurants in Denver is now at 1 a.m. or 2 a.m. depending on which county the establishment is in. That’s up from the old rules that limited last calls to 11 p.m.
But while the new restrictions will push the end of indoor dining at most restaurants, takeout and delivery options are still available. Also, if a restaurant wants to continue serving alcohol past their last call, they must be 5 Star Certified and follow specific health and safety measures, including a designated sober driver.
In other COVID-19 updates, Level Orange limits personal gatherings to a 50-person maximum and keeps parties six feet apart. Capacity limits at gyms and fitness centers go up to 25%, while office space is capped at 10% in the level.
But if counties move to Level Red, restrictions will become more severe, with the closure of indoor dine-in service at restaurants and the last call moving to 8 p.m. In addition, capacity restrictions would be placed on places of worship and gyms could only operate at 10% capacity or with groups of less than 10.