Businesses serving alcohol can now offer up a free drink to vaccinated patrons under a new law signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker. The measure also extends businesses’ ability to sell cocktails for pickup and delivery.
“Not only will the vaccine protect you from getting sick — your free COVID-19 shot can now get you a free shot of your choosing or whatever drink suits your palate,” said Pritzker on June 2. “I’m pleased to sign this legislation into law to offer our hardest-hit businesses another lifeline as we recover from the pandemic.”
A collective effort by industry, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission and members of the General Assembly, Senate Bill 104 offers two lines of support for small businesses. To advance public health goals and help bring customers back to restaurants and bars, the new law allows retailers to offer adults a free alcoholic beverage with proof of vaccination, from June 10 through July 10.
It also extends businesses’ ability to sell cocktails for pickup and delivery, which was popularized during the pandemic and helped businesses make ends meet.
“Our hospitality industry has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, and Senate Bill 104 contains a number of initiatives designed to offer much needed help, including an extension of cocktails to go and ‘shot and a beer’ incentives to help Illinoisans get vaccinated and then visit their favorite establishment for a drink,” said Rep. Michael Zalewski (D-Riverside). “Thanks to Governor Pritzker for his signature and Senator Sara Feigenholtz for her work on this legislation.”
“Cocktails-to-go is a lifeline to restaurants to survive the pandemic,” said Sen. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago). “Any tool we can provide to help keep this vibrant industry going while they are rebuilding is critical.”
Senate Bill 104 takes effect immediately.