Government officials are allowing Colorado restaurants to resume dine-in services, which have been shut down since March due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, starting Wednesday — if they adhere to certain guidelines such as operating at half capacity.
The governor’s office has released a number of additional guidelines that restaurants must follow, such as allowing no more than 50 maximum occupants, keeping tables at least six feet apart at all times, requiring workers to wear facial coverings, disinfecting of shared surfaces between seatings. Additional restrictions include no parties larger than eight, and no buffets or communal seating. A full list of guidelines is online.
Some decisions will be left up to local authorities, such as whether they will allow restaurants to offer expanded outdoor seating. The city of Denver has released a statement saying it will comply with the state guidelines, according to 303 Magazine. The state will wait until June to evaluate whether breweries can reopen.
Restaurant dining rooms have started to reopen across the country, first in such states as Georgia and Texas, with many others joining in the past couple of weeks. That decision comes with challenges to restaurants and to public safety: Many restaurants do not have the capacity to seat patrons a proper distance apart from each other, and social distancing measures cannot be easily practiced in restaurant kitchens. Limits on capacity and other measures also present financial challenges to restaurant owners as they weigh whether to reopen.
Colorado reported 95 mew confirmed coronavirus cases May 25, down from 477 as recent as May 23. Denver County has been hit the hardest in the state, with 5,173 cases and 299 deaths as of press time reports.
• Safer at Home Guidance [Colorado.gov]