The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a guidance for reopening restaurant dining rooms shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to regularly checking state and local orders, operators should be prepared to take extra precautions to protect employees with health risks, including those with asthma, diabetes and immunocompromised people.
Health and safety actions, including handwashing stations and employees wearing a cloth face covering, should be in place when feasible. Operators should be prepared for intensified cleaning, sanitation, disinfection and ventilation and all employees should be trained on new health and safety protocols. If EPA-approved disinfectants are not available, operators should be prepared to use alternative disinfectants, such as 70% alcoholic solutions or 1/3 cup of bleach added to 1 gallon of water.
Shared employee spaces should be restricted, and shifts should be rotated or staggered when possible. Social distancing should be encouraged through additional spacing between tables and limited occupancy. Self-service stations and party sizes should be limited. Restaurants also should continue promoting delivery, curbside pickup and drive-thru services.
Ongoing monitoring should be in place before restaurants reopen, the CDC said.
Operators should develop and implement procedures to check for signs and symptoms of employees upon daily arrival. Flexible leave policies and practices should be in place, and operators should be prepared to consult with local health authorities if there are cases on-site or an increase of cases in the local area.