Fact-Check: Booze ban? No, Illinois hasn’t stopped liquor sales because of COVID-19

Claims that Gov. J.B. Pritzker is halting alcohol sales originated on a prank page that is being shared on social media.

SHARE Fact-Check: Booze ban? No, Illinois hasn’t stopped liquor sales because of COVID-19

You can still buy booze despite false ads claiming otherwise.

Sun-Times file photo

By Ciara O’Rourke 

You can call off your emergency trip to the liquor store — states aren’t really stopping the sale of alcohol. But recent Facebook posts would have you think otherwise.

“No beer or alcohol sales in state of Illinois as of 3pm starting Monday March, 30th,” reads an image posted by one account. Then there are links to stories with headlines like this one: “NC Governor to stop all alcohol sales beginning Friday, April 3rd.” Another one claims “Gov. Gavin Newsom suspends alcohol in CA as of March 28.”


These posts were flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed.

Some of these posts, such as one about Mississippi banning booze that has since been pulled down, appear to be screenshots of a news story. But if you click on the links in other posts, it brings you to a page that says “you got pranked.”

The joke, however, is getting lost on many Facebook users as they share both these blog posts and images of seeming media stories with this tee-totaling news. 

Searching for actual news stories about states banning alcohol, we found none. However, Pennsylvania, where the state runs liquor stores, has closed down all of its off-premise locations indefinitely, Forbes reports. “It remains the only part of the country where residents have such limited access to distilled spirits,” the publication says.


People in Pennsylvania can still buy alcohol, however. One distillery is selling bottles from a drive-thru and shipping to folks’ front doors. Another shop is selling vodka and whiskey for curbside pickup. California, meanwhile, is among the states to loosen alcohol rules for restaurants, allowing them to sell beer, wine and cocktails to go as people are preventing from dining in due to shelter-in-place orders to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

We rate these Facebook posts False.

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