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California lays out guidelines for dine-in restaurants once reopened

Restaurants face new normal as some COVID-19 lockdowns ease
Posted at 2:10 PM, May 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 02:30:43-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — California is recommending that dine-in restaurants enact safety precautions like disposable menus, physical distancing, and taking away used napkins in bags once they reopen.

Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced several recommendations for restaurants wanting to reopen for dine-in service. Guidelines issued by the state covered steps addressing physical distancing, face coverings by employees and customers/clients, cleaning and disinfection, and employee training.

Some of the impacts directly to diners included changes like:

  • Disposable menus
  • Providing condiments and salt/pepper in single-serving food containers
  • Servers picking up dirty linens (like tablecloths and napkins) after use and transporting them in sealed bags
  • Prioritize outdoor seating and curbside pickup to minimize cross flow of customers
  • Implement measures to ensure physical distancing between workers and customers

The state's full guidelines can be seen here.

Newsom didn't set a limit for restaurant guests but suggested establishments continue to encourage take-out where possible, before prioritizing outdoor seating.

The state's dine-in restaurant guidance only takes effect once counties are cleared by California health officials to move forward.

Newsom has said that dine-in restaurants are expected to be included in the later half of the state's "Stage 2" of its four-stage reopening plan amid COVID-19.