Updated Rules New Yorkers Must Follow at Restaurants, Bars
New York officials released more guidelines restaurants, bars and customers must follow, including customers wearing masks.
- In outdoor spaces, all tables with seats must be at least 6 ft. from any other table, seat, patron, or pedestrian thoroughfare or corridor.
- Ensure an indoor capacity to accommodate patrons who may need to enter/exit through the indoor space to access the outdoor seating, restroom(s), or payment location, and allow such access/egress in a socially distanced manner. Close indoor dining and seating areas to customers.
- Employees must wear face coverings at all times.
- Patrons must wear face coverings at all times, except while seated; provided that the patron is over the age of two and able to medically tolerate one.
- Limit outdoor capacity to the number of tables that can be safely and appropriately arranged, such that each table is a minimum of 6 ft. away from another.
- Wherever distancing is not feasible between tables, enact physical barriers between such tables. Individuals seated at the same table must be members of the same party (but maybe from different households), with a maximum of 10 people per table.
- Communal tables are only permitted if at least 6 ft. can be maintained between parties.
- Clearly signal 6 ft. spacing in any lines for customers waiting to order, pick-up food, be seated, or use the restroom, as well as in any pick-up or payment location.
- Designate entrances/exits for customers and separate entrances/exits for employees, where possible.
- Limit in-person gatherings (e.g. staff meetings) to the greatest extent possible.
- Establish designated areas for vendor pickups and/or deliveries, limiting contact to the extent possible.
- Provide workers with an acceptable face covering at nocost to the employees and have an adequate supply of coverings in case of need for replacement.
- Acceptable face coverings include but are not limited to cloth (e.g. homemade sewn, quick cut, bandana), surgical masks, and face shields.
- Clean, replace, and prohibit sharing of face coverings. Consult the CDC guidance for additional information on cloth face coverings and other types of personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as instructions on use and cleaning.
- Train employees on how to don, doff, clean (as applicable), and discard PPE .
- Limit the sharing of objects (e.g. kitchen tools, pens/ pads), as well as the touching of shared surfaces (e.g. doorknobs, keypads, touch screens); or, require workers to wear gloves when in contact with shared objects or frequently touched surfaces; or, require workers to perform hand hygiene before and after contact.
- Ensure all staff wear face coverings at all times and that they practice hand hygiene and use bare hand barriers consistent with state and local sanitary codes.
- If employees wear gloves during non-food preparation activities, ensure they replace gloves frequently, and encourage them to change gloves when switching tasks (e.g. serving customers to prerolling silverware).
- If employees do not wear gloves, ensure they frequently wash their hands with soap/water.
- Ensure that employees who are bussing tables wash their hands with soap/water and, if they wear gloves, replace the gloves before and after cleaning and disinfecting tables.
Hygiene and Cleaning
- Adhere to hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health (DOH) and maintain logs that document date, time, and scope of cleaning.
- Provide and maintain hand hygiene stations including handwashing with soap, running warm water, and disposable paper towels, as well as an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 60% or more alcohol for areas where handwashing is not feasible.
- Provide and encourage employees to use cleaning and disinfection supplies for shared surfaces for use before and after use of these surfaces, followed by hand hygiene.
- Regularly clean and disinfect the establishment and more frequently clean and disinfect high risk areas used by many individuals and for frequently touched surfaces (e.g. restrooms). Cleaning and disinfection must be rigorous and ongoing and should occur at least after each shift, daily, or more frequently if needed.
- Ensure that equipment is regularly cleaned and disinfected using registered disinfectants, including at least as often as employees change workstations. Refer Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) products identified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as effective against COVID-19.
- Provide cleaning and disinfection of exposed areas in the event of an individual is confirmed to have COVID19, with such cleaning and disinfection to include, at a minimum, all heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces.
- Before returning to work, complete pre-return checks and assessments of kitchen systems to ensure a healthy and safe environment.
- Minimize sharing of kitchen equipment between staff (e.g. knives, pots, rags/towels), where possible.
- Prohibit the use of devices (e.g. buzzers) to provide alerts to customers that seating or an order is available unless such devices are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between each use.
- Ensure all condiments provided directly to customers are in single-use disposable containers or reusable containers that are regularly cleaned/disinfected.
- If non-disposable menus are used, clean and disinfect the menus between each party’s use.
- Use pre-packaged silverware or pre-rolled silverware. Silverware must be pre-rolled while wearing masks and gloves
- For take-out/delivery:
- • Provide hand hygiene stations for customers waiting for food and/or drinks.
- • Ensure staff wash hands with soap/water or use hand sanitizer; if staff use gloves, regularly replace them.
- • If pick-up/delivery is indoors, ensure windows/doors are opened to allow for ventilation.
- Affirm you have reviewed and understand the state-issued industry guidelines, and that you will implement them.
- Post signage to remind employees and patrons to adhere to proper hygiene, social distancing rules, appropriate use of PPE, and cleaning and disinfection protocols.
- Immediately notify the state and local health department if a worker was in close contact with others and tests positive for COVID-19.
- Cooperate with contact tracing efforts, including notification of potential contacts in the workplace, while maintaining confidentiality required by state and federal law and regulations.
- Conspicuously post completed safety plans on-site.
- Employees who are sick should stay home or return home if they become ill at work.
- Implement mandatory daily health screening practices of their employees and, where practicable, vendors, but such screening shall not be mandated for customers and delivery personnel (e.g. questionnaire, temperature check) for employees, and asking about (1) COVID-19 symptoms in past 14 days, (2) positive COVID-19 test in past 14 days, and/or (3) close contact with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case in past 14 days.
- Refer to DOH guidance regarding protocols and policies for employees seeking to return to work after a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or after the employee had close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19.
- Establishments cannot mandate that customers complete a health screen or provide contact information.
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