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Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine won't issue variance to keep bars open for Browns' playoff game, College Football Championship Game

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said that he won't issue a variance allowing bars to stay open for the Cleveland Browns' playoff game and the College Football title game.

CEDARVILLE, Ohio — On Sunday, the Cleveland Browns will face the Pittsburgh Steelers in what will mark their first playoff game in 18 years. Just 24 hours after that, Ohio State is slated to face Alabama in the College Football Championship Game.

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Typically, each event -- let alone both of them -- would be a big boon to the bars and restaurant industry across Ohio. But with the Browns' Wild Card game scheduled to kickoff at 8:15 p.m. ET and Ohio State's national title game set for 8:00 p.m. ET, Ohio's 10 p.m. COVID-19-related curfew will undoubtedly limit the opportunities that the state's establishments have to profit off the games.

Asked at his press briefing on Tuesday about the possibility of issuing a variance to the curfew to allow bars and restaurants to take advantage of the unique circumstances of the Browns and Buckeyes playing in such big games in consecutive days, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine made it clear he won't be doing so.

"There's nothing more that I would like to do than to just say, 'Look, let's have no restrictions. No restrictions on bars. Everybody go back to normal.' But we're not back to normal," Gov. DeWine said. "I can't look at these numbers and say that we should expand the time when people can be together, crowd together and be in a bar or in a restaurant. Because at a bar or a restaurant, by definition, you cannot wear a mask when you're drinking. You cannot wear a mask when you're eating."

Ohio's curfew is currently slated to stay in effect through Jan. 23. You can watch Gov. DeWine's full press briefing in the video below:

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