COVID-19: CDC Issues Reopening Guidance for Restaurants and Bars

By: Hannah Becker, associate

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) recently released guidelines to help restaurants and bars safely reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic. The one-page decision tree maps out different courses of action and outcomes based on the food service establishment’s ability to meet certain safeguards. Before implementing public health safeguards and moving forward with reopening plans, the CDC lists the following initial considerations:

  • Will reopening be consistent with applicable state and local orders?
  • Are you ready to protect employees at higher risk for severe illness?

If a food service establishment responds “yes” to both questions, then the CDC outlines the safeguards in two paths that a bar or restaurant should implement before reopening the business to the public. These actions encourage behaviors that reduce the spread of COVID-19 among employees and customers, maintain healthy environments and operations, and implement ongoing monitoring.

Ultimately, businesses should be prepared to adjust operations according to state and local orders or issues specific to the facility. The different courses of action and listed safeguards outlined in the CDC’s restaurants and bars reopening decision tree document can be reviewed here.