Restaurants across the country closed their dining rooms to slow the spread of coronavirus, and even though some states have given the go-ahead to reopen, others have not. That said, many local jurisdictions are gearing up for restaurants to open with outdoor seating only as well as by providing them with some creative alternatives to their potentially limited patio spaces.
Take the Big Apple, for example. On May 28, the New York City Council introduced local legislation that would allow free temporary permits for outdoor dining in appropriate open-air spaces such as sidewalks, streets, plazas and parking lots.
In tandem, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene would create guidelines to ensure proper social distancing and cleaning protocols, and the city would be required to identify additional areas where food vendors could operate for the time being. This would expire on Oct. 31, 2020 or whenever social distancing requirements are lifted.
Other places including San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and North Carolina have already given the greenlit for restaurants to reopen with outdoor dining with similar guidelines to New York City.
Some of Chicago’s pointers include tables spaced 6 feet apart, no more than six people per table, and both employees and guests wearing protective gear. Face masks may be removed while customers are seated and eating.
Though many people have been ordering takeout during the coronavirus pandemic, physically going to a restaurant to eat is a whole different bag. Even with proper hygiene and social distancing, you might be wondering: Can coronavirus spread through food? We have all of your top COVID-19 food questions answered.