The Ohio Department of Health’s Dine Safe Ohio Order has reopened restaurants and bars to dine-in service, but with notable exceptions. The following are frequently asked questions that apply to both dine-in and outdoor dining at restaurants and bars.
Can a restaurant or bar offer live music?
Musicians and bands may perform in restaurants and bars as long as the individuals who are performing maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet from all other people including, but not limited to, fellow performers and restaurant and bar patrons and staff. Disc jockeys are permitted as long as they practice social distancing.
What entertainment is not allowed in restaurants and bars?
Congregate areas in restaurants and bars that are not necessary for the preparation and service of food or beverages shall remain closed. The following entertainment are not permitted: Billiards; card playing; pinball games; video games; arcade games; dancing; and strolling performers.
Do restaurant and bar employees have to wear facial coverings?
The order requires employees to wear facial coverings unless they meet one of the exceptions in the Sector-Specific Guidelines for Restaurants and Bars. Businesses must provide written justification, upon request, explaining why an employee is not required to wear a facial covering in the workplace.
What types of barriers and dimensions for barriers are recommended for restaurants and bars?
It is recommended that barriers placed between booths or tables be smooth, easily cleanable, non-porous, properly cleaned between dining parties, and comply with building or fire department regulations. Shower curtains may be used if they meet these stipulations and are approved by the building and/or fire department. Barriers made of fabric, cloth, or other porous material are not permitted.
It is recommended the dimensions of barriers between booths or tables be sufficient to prevent customers from extending/reaching over the booth or seat to interact with other customers.
What should a COVID-19 floor plan include?
A floor plan should include at least the following: Entrances and exits; Configuration of tables, chairs, and booths for dining areas and bars; Kitchen areas to ensure social distancing; Barriers to be installed where social distancing cannot be accomplished; Waiting areas ensuring social distancing;
Flow of customers through the facility; Designated ordering and waiting areas for carryout and delivery customers and locations of hand washing/sanitizer stations.
Can multiple customers sit together in a restaurant or at a bar? Can a restaurant offer private dining?
Yes, as long as the size of party does not exceed the 10-person mass gathering limit and they are seated at least 6 feet from other customers or separated by a physical barrier.
Private dining may be offered as long as the size of the party does not exceed the 10-person mass gathering limit.
Can a food facility offer self-service food, drinks, or condiments?
No. Self-service food, drink, and condiment stations are prohibited. This includes, but is not limited to: Self-service condiment stations; Bulk donut cases; Roller grill stations; Hot and cold beverage stations; Soft serve ice cream and yogurt machines; Bulk food dispensers; and elf-service stations that allow customers to help themselves to free product samples.
This applies in any setting including restaurants, bars, gas stations, convenience stores, and grocery stores.
The order requires table and common area items such as table tents, vases, lemons, straws, and stir sticks be removed. Condiments and condiment bottles should be removed from tables and provided in single packets, cups etc. It is recommended that condiment packets that are served to a customer and not consumed be discarded.
Pre-packaged foods and drinks may still be offered for retail sale.
Restaurants and bars should follow the guidance of local health department officials. For additional information, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.
For answers to your COVID-19 questions, call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).