Lack of Enforcement Makes Covid Restrictions a Joke

EDITORIAL The State of Ohio passed Covid-19 Restriction on businesses, but the lack of enforcement has made it into a laughingstock.

As everyone knows by now, businesses in Ohio are required to follow certain guidelines if they want to stay open for business during the coronavirus pandemic. These rules include requiring masks for employees, appropriate spacing between patrons, and limiting the number of customers allowed in a space at any one time.

Bars that violate these rules can be punished by the Ohio Liquor Control Board. But here's the thing- bars with deep pockets can afford lawyers to fight these citations, while those without those resources can't. In fact, in a recent situation here in Cleveland, the Barley House, which is owned by millionaire developers, was cited for the third time. It's high-priced lawyers are fighting the charges, but remain open in the meantime.

If the State of Ohio is going to impose these rules, they need to expedite the enforcement of the rules. Their should be emergency hearings held immediately, not a slow boat process that doesn't protect customers, is unfair to small businesses, and is only good news for lawyers. The current system has become a two-tier laughingstock- one set of rules for wealthy owners, and another for mom and pop businesses that are trying to do the right thing.