The reopening and mitigation guidelines below are part of Restore Chester County's Business & Org Toolkit and apply to the restaurants and bars sector.
Click on each key topic below to find best practices for this sector compiled from federal, state and county guidelines and vetted by state and local health departments, businesses and municipalities. More information can also be found on the Resources page. In addition, the chart provided here is an overview of Pennsylvania regulations for reopening through the red, yellow and green phases as they compare to CDC regulations. Leaders from Chester County's various sectors have indicated that these are the topics of highest concern at this point. We welcome your feedback as we continue to make updates.
During the "Red" phase, restaurants and bars are limited to carry-out and delivery only. Businesses that offer carry-out, delivery, and drive-through food and beverage service may continue to do so, but eating and drinking inside restaurants and bars are temporarily prohibited.
During the "Yellow" phase, restaurants and bars that are able to provide outdoor dining or indoor open-air dining are permitted to operate. In order to qualify as a facility with indoor open-air dining, a restaurant or bar should have large windows that open, retractable walls, or any other infrastructure that maximizes air circulation with the outdoors. Note that food preparation stations must remain indoors and enclosed. Occupancy limits for indoor and outdoor dining will be determined using the following two methods. The more restrictive number must be used:
Method 1: Limit to 50% of stated fire capacity or 12 people per 1,000 square feet if there is not a fire code number available. If there is no fire code available for outdoor dining, the 12 people per 1,000 square feet number should also be applied.
Method 2: Arrange the facility so that customers sitting at a table are not within six feet of any customers sitting at another table in any direction. Accordingly, calculate the maximum number of customers that can be accommodated.
During the "Green" phase, all businesses in the retail food services industry, including restaurants, wineries, breweries, private clubs, and bars, are permitted to provide take-out and delivery sales of food, as well as dine-in service in both indoor and outdoor seating areas so long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of the guidance, as required by the order, including:
Prohibition from conducting operations unless the facility offers sit-down, dine-in meals or is serving take-out sales of alcoholic beverages. All service must be at a table or booth; bar service is prohibited.
Alcohol only can be served for on-premises consumption when in the same transaction as a meal.
Take-out sales of alcohol for the purposes of off-site consumption are permitted subject to any limitations or restrictions imposed by Pennsylvania law.
Non-bar seating in outdoor areas (i.e. tables or counter seats that do not line up to a bar or food service area) may be used for customer seating.
Social distancing, masking, and other mitigation measures must be employed to protect workers and patrons.
On Sep. 21, 2020 occupancy is changed from 25 percent to 50 percent of stated fire-code maximum occupancy for indoor dining, or 25 persons for a discrete indoor event or gathering in a restaurant. The maximum occupancy limit includes staff. Additionally, the establishment must undertake "self-certification" attesting to their compliance with guidelines by Oct. 5. FAQ on self-certification link.
This LINK will be activated when self-certification procedure and filing are available.
Capacity headcount includes staff working with restaurant attendees but does not include the back-of-house staff that has no direct contact with patrons.
These materials and any related updates are provided and intended for general public informational purposes and guidance. While intended to be timely and accurate, please note that federal and state regulations and directives are changing often. To that extent, please continue to monitor this site for any significant modifications and developments.
Employer Tips and Guidelines +
For private parties at restaurants, the host must keep a list of attendees for tracing.
Comply with governmental guidance for all phases of reopening and recovery.
Consistently monitor employee wellness and do not let anyone symptomatic report to work. Revisit your leave or sick program to allow for this time off.
Employers and employees should take temperatures and assess symptoms prior to starting work.
Employees who monitor their temperature at home should update their supervisor if they have a temperature exceeding 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit and stay home.
Employees should understand safe food handling.
Have a manager on every shift, or readily available.
Train all employees on health and safety protocols.
All seating options will comply with the appropriate physical distancing guidelines.
Make hand sanitizer/washing stations available upon entry and exit for guests and staff.
Clean and sanitize common areas and surfaces regularly. Establish a disinfection routine using disposable products.
Place settings, utensils, menus, and condiments will either be single-use or will be cleaned and disinfected after every use.
Designate a single employee per shift, ideally with a clearly identifiable uniform or badge for customers to recognize, to oversee safety and sanitation measures.
Employees shall wear gloves and/or masks and other protective equipment in keeping with public health guidelines relating to COVID-19.
Limit table capacity in accordance with recommended guidelines.
Consider the use of physical barriers when appropriate.
Tables should be moved apart, removed, or taken out of service. For tables that are unable to be moved, physically block off or otherwise clearly indicate that they are not to be used.
Use signage and/or floor markings to help customers comply with social distancing guidelines in common areas.
Encourage contactless payment options like credit cards or online ordering.
When exchanging paper and coin money, ask customers to place cash on a counter rather than directly into your hand, and wipe counter between each customer. Do not touch your face afterward.
Customer should use his/her/their own pen to sign credit card authorization. If pens must be used and provided by the establishment, they should be disinfected between each use. The same applies for touch pad use.
Temporarily close self-serve, unattended buffets, topping bars, and other communal serving areas.
Have each staff member complete a health survey prior to their shift, with questions including:
Do you have any of these symptoms: fever, aches, cough, shortness of breath?
Have you come in contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19?
Are you currently waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test?
Have you traveled outside Pennsylvania over the last 14 days?
I understand my responsibility to not come to work if I have symptoms of COVID-19 or have recently come into contact with someone who has COVID-19.
I understand my responsibility to comply with the restaurantâ€™s health and sanitation standards.
Discard all food items that are out of date.
Minimize the amount of time that foods that are being stored, displayed, or delivered are held in the danger zone (between 41Â°F and 135Â°F).
For delivery, ensure coolers and transport containers are cleaned and sanitized.
Verify that your ware-washing machines are operating at the required wash and rinse temperatures and with the appropriate detergents and sanitizers.
Establish designated pick-up zones for customers to help maintain social distancing.
Practice social distancing when delivering food, e.g., offering "no touch" deliveries and sending text alerts or calling when deliveries have arrived. Keep foods separated to avoid cross contamination.
When possible, restrict employee shared spaces.
If feasible, rotate or stagger shifts.
How Employees Can Protect Themselves +
Self-monitor your temperature every morning. Employees who have a temperature exceeding 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit should stay home and notify their supervisor.
Emphasize effective hand hygiene including washing hands for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
Always wash hands with soap and water. If soap and water are not readily available, then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and avoid working with unwrapped or exposed foods.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Use gloves to avoid direct, bare hand contact with ready-to-eat foods.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash hands after.
If an Employee Tests Positive +
If the individual receives a positive test notification while at work, follow established Human Resources policy. If the individual receives a positive test notification while NOT at work, the individual should follow established Human Resources policy, stay home and self-isolate in accordance with Chester County Health Department guidance.
Determine who had contact with the positive individual during the time the individual had symptoms as well as 48 hours prior to symptoms. Notify employees who were in close contact with the confirmed individual while maintaining confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
People who had close contact must self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of last contact with the positive individual.
"Close contact" is defined as having contact for more than 15 minutes, at a distance of 6 feet or less, with a positive individual.
Individuals may discontinue home isolation and return to work under the following conditions:
At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since your fever went away without the use of fever-reducing medication
AND improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath)
AND At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
After returning to work, individuals should:
Wear a facemask at all times while at work until all symptoms are completely resolved or until 14 days after illness onset, whichever is longer.
Be restricted from contact with individuals at a higher risk (e.g., older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness).
AND At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
Adhere to hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, and cough etiquette (e.g., cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, dispose of tissues in waste receptacles).
Self-monitor for symptoms. Seek immediate re-evaluation from occupational health/primary care provider and do not work if symptoms recur or worsen.
The Chester County Health Department will be notified of all confirmed cases through established disease reporting protocols and will follow-up with the individual appropriately. Contact the Chester County Health Department at 610-344-6225.
Supporting Customers and Clients +
If you have been exposed to COVID-19 recently or have symptoms of COVID-19 (including a fever, cough, or shortness of breath), use contactless delivery options.
If you have underlying heath conditions or are otherwise concerned about contracting COVID-19, use contactless delivery options.
Practice proper social distancing when picking up food or interacting with restaurant/delivery staff.
Along with best practices outlined here and in our Business Toolkit, individual business and organization sectors will be following further guidance. Click below to learn more on how they're preparing.