INTERIM GUIDANCE FOR RESTAURANTS AND BARS

June 02, 2020

As the food service industry prepares to reopen, there are critical steps to be taken to prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. This interim guidance is laid out in a series of three steps, representing a gradual scale up of activities towards pre-COVID-19 operating practices.

Scaling Up Operations

Step 1: Bars remain closed and restaurants are limited to drive-through, curbside take out, or delivery

Step 2: Bars may open with limited capacity; restaurants may open dining rooms with limited seating capacity

Step 3: Bars may open with increased standing room occupancy that allows for social distancing; restaurants may operate while maintaining social distancing

In all steps:

    • Communicate with local and state authorities to determine current mitigation levels
    • Consider assigning workers at high risk for severe illness duties that minimize human contact
    • Provide employees from higher transmission areas with telework and other options to eliminate travel

Taking Precautions

In steps 1-3, continue to promote healthy hygiene practices, and intensify cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least daily and shared objects between uses with products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2
  • Enforce hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and the use of a cloth face covering by employees when near other employees and customers
  • Post signs on how to stop the spread of COVID-19, properly wash hands, promote protective measures, and wear a face covering
  • Place disinfectant wipes in bathrooms
  • Wash, rinse, and sanitize food contact and preparation surfaces after use
  • Use disposable food service items, disposable or digital menus, single serving condiments, and no-touch trash cans and doors
  • Use touchless payment options when possible, and ask customers and employees not to exchange cash or credit cards by hand
  • Use gloves when handling garbage and wash hands after removing gloves or after directly handling used food service items
  • Avoid using containers or utensils brought in by customers
  • Ensure that ventilation systems operate properly open windows and doors, if it does not pose a safety risk
  • Ensure all water systems and features are safe to use after a prolonged facility shutdown to minimize the risk of Legionnaires’ disease and other diseases

Promoting social distancing

Step 1

  • Limit service to drive-through, delivery, or curb-side pick-up
  • Provide physical guides to ensure social distancing
  • Install physical barriers at cash registers or other food pickup areas
  • Restrict the number of employees in shared spaces
  • Rotate or stagger shifts to limit the number of employees sharing the workplace

Step 2 & 3

  • Provide drive-through, delivery, or curb-side pick-up options
  • Reduce occupancy, prioritize outdoor seating, and limit party sizes
  • Provide physical guides and barriers to ensure social distancing
  • Ask customers to wait in their cars while waiting to be seated, and use cell phones instead of “buzzers ”
  • Allow dine-in customers to order ahead of time
  • Avoid offering self-serve food or drinks
  • Limit the number of employees in shared spaces to maintain social distancing 

Monitoring and Preparing

  • Employees showing symptoms of COVID-19 should be sent home immediately
  • Inform those who have had close contact to a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home and self-monitor for symptoms
  • Establish procedures for safely transporting anyone sick to their home or to a healthcare facility
  • Notify local health officials, staff, and customers immediately of any possible case of COVID-19, while maintaining confidentiality consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other privacy laws
  • Close off areas used by a sick person and do not use them until after cleaning and disinfection, waiting 24 hours (if possible) before cleaning and disinfecting
  • Advise sick staff members not to return until they have met CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation
  • Implement flexible sick leave and telework, if possible
  • Monitor absenteeism of employees and create a roster of trained back-up staff
  • Designate a staff person to respond to COVID-19 concerns
  • Create and test communication systems for employees for self-reporting and notification of exposures and closures
  • Support coping and resilience among employees

Closing

  • Check state and local health department notices about transmission in the area daily and adjust operations accordingly
  • Consider closing for a few days if there is a case of COVID-19 in the establishment and for longer if cases increase in the local area

For more detailed guidance, please refer to the CDC Guidance for Restaurants and Bars.





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