South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster tweeted Friday that starting on March 1, bars can resume selling alcohol past 11 p.m., and he will no longer require the South Carolina Department of Commerce to approve events with more than 250 people.
The "last call" order, which limited the sale of alcohol to before 11 p.m., went into effect during the height of the pandemic on July 11, 2020. McMaster issued the order to prevent the spike of COVID-19 cases among young people who were gathering at bars and restaurants.
In his tweet, McMaster said he expects South Carolinians to continue to be responsible.
"The virus is still among us and we all must continue to make responsible decisions to take care of ourselves and our loved ones, but those decisions are for South Carolinians to make," McMaster's tweet said.
He credited the vaccine and the decreased spread of the virus in making his decision to lift COVID-19 safety measures.
"With the spread of the virus consistently decreasing across the country and more of the most vulnerable South Carolinians being vaccinated every day, I believe these targeted and limited safety measures are no longer necessary," McMaster said in a WIS News 10 article.
The Daily Gamecock is awaiting a comment from university spokesperson Jeff Stensland about how the lift of the ban will affect in-person events at USC.