KNOXVILLE, Tenn — The Knoxville Police Dept. is informing bars and restaurants this week about changes to a city ordinance that would allow civil enforcement of orders by the Board of Health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A spokesperson said the Enforcement Division has been delivering flyers to the businesses this week explaining the new enforcement.
By Board of Health order, bars and restaurants are supposed to close in-person service by 11 p.m., though they can still provide delivery, carryout, and curbside pickup.
While many businesses were abiding by the curfew, others were not, and city leaders wanted to find a way to enforce the order that didn't require criminal penalties.
The proposals change city code to clarify that businesses with a beer permit must comply with a regulatory order such as those put in place by the Board of Health or the state's Tennessee Pledge.
The flyer explains that businesses who violate the order could be served with a citation to appear in court and be fined $50. Further violations could result in the suspension or revocation of its beer permit.
So far, KPD has not issued any citations or warnings to any local businesses, according to KPD spokesperson Scott Erland.
"Appropriate enforcement action will be taken if further violations continue," said Erland.