COVID 19 Restaurant Rules & Restrictions: A State-By-State Reopening Guide

COVID 19 Restaurant Rules & Restrictions: A State-By-State Reopening Guide

November 20, 2020, 10:29 PM UTC

[Editor's note: Last updated 11/13/20]

It’s hard to keep track of anything in 2020, and statewide dining restrictions for restaurants due to the COVID-19 pandemic are at the top of that list. Due to recent surges in cases of the novel coronavirus nationwide, many states have reinstated restaurant rules they'd previously rolled back during reopening earlier this year. As the winter approaches, COVID-19 cases are expected to climb, so restaurants may face more closures or restrictions on opening in the coming months.

To help restaurants across the country find up-to-date information on whether they're allowed to open during the coronavirus pandemic, we've compiled this 50-state index of COVID-19 restaurant & bar rules. We'll be updating this story weekly on Fridays with relevant adjustments to each state's restaurant restrictions.

Pro tip: Use Control+F (Windows) or Command+F (Mac) to quickly locate your state's guidelines!

>>>RELATED: What's the status of Federal Restaurant Relief Right Now?

ALABAMA

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): 100% open
  • Bars + Breweries: OPEN

According to Alabama Public Health, patrons are encouraged to adhere to social distancing guidelines in bar areas. A state-wide mask mandate remains in effect. 

ALASKA

  • Restaurants (Indoor Dining): 50% open, with restrictions; outdoor dining: 100% open, with restrictions 
  • Bars (Indoor) 50% open, with restrictions; outdoor patio: 100% open, with restrictions. 

According to Anchorage Daily News, patrons will also be limited to table service only under new changes to city pandemic restrictions. That means no standing up, sitting at the bar or ordering from the bar.

At bars and restaurants, outdoor seating in tents will still be allowed, but to allow for ventilation, the tents must have at least two walls removed, four walls rolled up at least halfway or windows that allow for an equal amount of ventilation.

Tables at hospitality establishments must be at least 6 feet apart, and only members of the same group can sit at a table.

Indoor tables also need to be 6 feet from each other, or have a partition in between tables.

Masks must be worn by all customers when they aren’t eating or drinking.

ARIZONA

  • Restaurants: OPEN at 50%, with restrictions 
  • Bars: OPEN at 50%, with restrictions 

According to Arizona Department of Health Services, community spread levels are defined by three thresholds (consistent with the national standards set by the Coronavirus Task Force): MINIMAL (<10 cases/100,000); MODERATE (10-100 cases/100,000); SUBSTANTIAL (>100 cases/100,000)

Occupancy if “Minimal”: 50% occupancy only if converted to restaurant service until <3% positivity. Once <3% positivity, 50% if operating as a bar. 

Occupancy if “Moderate”: 50% only if converted to restaurant service.

Occupancy if “Substantial”: Closed 

ARKANSAS

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 66%, with restrictions 
  • Bars within restaurants: OPEN at 66%, with restrictions 
  • Freestanding Bars + Clubs: OPEN at 66%, with restrictions 

According to the Arkansas Department of Health, dine-in service may continue; seating may now increase to up to 66% (or two-thirds) of total seating capacity. Seating shall be adjusted to maintain six (6) feet between occupied seats at adjacent tables. Groups for bars and restaurants must be 10 or fewer customers. Patrons must wear a face covering while in the establishment when physical distancing of 6 feet cannot be ensured. 

CALIFORNIA

  • Restaurants (Indoor Dining): CLOSED in 41 of the state’s 58 counties; remaining are OPEN at 25% capacity (or 100 people, whichever is fewer)
  • Restaurants (Outdoor Dining): OPEN, with restrictions 
  • Outdoor Wineries + Tasting Rooms: OPEN, with restrictions 
  • Bars, Breweries + Pubs (that don’t offer sit-down dining): CLOSED

According to the Restaurant Business Online, California will close restaurant dining rooms for a third time, starting Tuesday, in nearly three-fourths of its counties, a move Gov. Gavin Newsom described as “pulling the emergency brake” on a runaway increase of coronavirus infections in the nation’s largest restaurant market.

COLORADO

  • Restaurants (Indoor Dining): CLOSED
  • Restaurants (Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 100%, with restrictions 
  • Bars + Breweries Indoor Service (that do not serve food from a licensed retail food establishment): CLOSED

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, as of Nov. 20, several counties will move to level red (severe risk) on the state dial in response to rapid and widespread COVID-19 transmission. Level red counties will see indoor dining closed (except for outdoor and takeout).

CONNECTICUT 

  • Restaurants (Indoor Dining): OPEN at 50%, with a maximum of 8 people limited to a table
  • Bars: CLOSED

According to Connecticut Official State Website, the state is rolling back to Phase 2 effective November 6, 2020. Restaurants will be required to close by 9:30 p.m., with the exception of food takeout and delivery services, which will be allowed to continue after 9:30 p.m.

DELAWARE

  • Restaurants (Indoor Dining): OPEN at 30%, with restrictions
  • Restaurants (Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 60%, with restrictions
  • Bars (Indoor): OPEN at 30%, with restrictions
  • Bars (Outdoor): OPEN at 60%, with restrictions

According to whyy.org and Delaware Health and Social Services, effective Novemner 23, Governor Carney ordered the indoor service at restaurants cut from 60% of fire capacity to 30%, with allowances for additional outdoor seating.

FLORIDA

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 100%
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor): OPEN at 100%

GEORGIA

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 100%
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor): OPEN at 35% (or 50 persons), with restrictions

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, bars must limit party size at tables to no more than six (6), enforce Social Distancing of non-cohabiting persons while present on such entity's leased or owned property and shall only provide service to seated patrons, or, if not applicable, to patrons in designated areas that are practicing social distancing. 

HAWAII

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions 
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor): CLOSED

According to the Department of Emergency Management in Oahu, customers must wear face coverings at all times within the restaurant facility, except when eating or drinking. Group dining is limited to a maximum of five (5) individuals per group; seating shall be arranged so that six (6) feet of separation is maintained between dining groups.  No standing bar/dining areas are allowed. Groups within the restaurant are prohibited from intermingling.

IDAHO

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Out Dining): OPEN at 100% capacity (seating only)
  • Bars + Nightclubs (Indoor + Outdoor): OPEN at 100% capacity (seating only)

According to Idaho’s Official Government Website, standing-room service will be prohibited at bars, restaurants and nightclubs in an effort to discourage social mingling. Limited occupancy encouraged, but not required, as long as social distancing maintained.

ILLINOIS

  • Restaurants (Indoor Dining): CLOSED (City of Chicago, Region 1, Region 2, Region 4)
  • Restaurants (Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 25% (or 50-person capacity limit / room), with restrictions 
  • Bars (that do not offer food service): CLOSED
  • Restaurants and bars must close from 11:00 until 6:00am daily (City of Chicago, Region 1, Region 2)

>>>RELATED: The latest COVID-19 restaurant restrictions in Chicago

According to WBEZ Illinois’ governor modified the reopening plan on July 15 by introducing mitigation tiers that the state could implement to prevent a surge in COVID-19 infections (all depending on the metrics in the specific region of Illinois.)

All businesses must maintain social distancing measures and provide a minimum of 6-feet between tables or other designated patron service areas. Restaurants can seat no more than 10 people together in one group and booths may be seated within 6-feet if an impermeable barrier is in place. Additionally, buffets and self-service food stations are allowed, with queue points of 6-feet apart; there are specific regulations for outdoor dining in the winter as well, including ensuring any temporary outdoor structures that hold multiple parties have at least 50% of the sides open to allow air flow. 

INDIANA

  • Restaurants (Indoor and Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions  
  • Bars + Nightclubs (INDOOR): OPEN at 25%, with restrictions
  • Bars + Nightclubs (OUTDOOR): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions

According to the Indiana State Department of Health, restaurants and bars must maintain appropriate social distancing. A bar section must have people seated. A state-wide mask mandate will remain in effect. 

IOWA

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 100%, with restrictions
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor): OPEN at 100%, with restrictions 

According to the State of Iowa’s Alcoholic Beverage Division, effective at 12:01 a.m. on November 17, and continuing until 11:59 p.m. on December 10 the following guidelines must be followed:

  • A restaurant or bar, including a wedding reception venue, winery, brewery, distillery, country club, or other social or fraternal club, may reopen or remain open to serve food and beverages on its premises, but only to the extent that it complies with the following requirements:
  • Hours limited: The establishment must close to the general public for in-person consumption on its premises at 10:00 p.m. and may not reopen until 6:00 a.m. the following day. No serving or consuming may occur on the premises after 10:00 p.m. This does not prohibit an establishment from continuing to serve food or beverages, to the extent permitted by applicable law if the food or beverages are promptly taken from the premises, such as a carry-out or drive through basis, or if the food or beverage is delivered to customers off the premises.
  • Social distancing: The establishment must ensure at least six feet of physical distance between each group or individual dining alone. Seating at booths closer than six feet may satisfy this requirement if the booths are separated by a barrier of a sufficient height to fully separate seated customers. All patrons must have a seat at a table or booth and must consume their food or beverage while seated at the table or booth. Seating at a bar is not allowed. Establishments must limit patrons from congregating together closer than six feet.
  • Groups limited: The establishment must limit the group size seated together to no more than eight people unless all members of the group are members of the same household.
  • Private gatherings prohibited: The establishment must not host private social gatherings larger than 15 people indoors or 30 people outdoors that are prohibited by this Proclamation, regardless of the group size seated together at a table.
  • Masks required while not seated: The establishment must require all customers to wear a mask or face covering while in the establishment unless seated at a properly distanced booth or table. This includes while participating in any games, pool, arcades, dancing, or karaoke. The establishment must also require all employees who interact with customers to wear a mask or face covering

KANSAS

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 100%
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor): OPEN at 100%

KENTUCKY

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 50% (seated only), with restrictions 
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor): OPEN at 50% (seated only), with restrictions 

The regulations according to Kentucky’s “Healthy At Work” Policy are as follows:

  • All customers at a bar or restaurant must be seated and served at tables or booths
  • Discontinue all bar seating and bar service 
  • Discontinue dine-in food and drink service by 11:00 p.m. local prevailing time.
  • Close no later than 12:00 a.m. local prevailing time, except for drive-thru, carry-out and delivery services.
  • Limit the number of customers present inside any given establishment to 50% of the maximum permitted occupancy or the greatest number that permits individuals not from the same household to maintain six (6) feet of space between each other with that level of occupancy. 
  • For booth seating only, restaurants may install non-porous physical barriers (e.g., plexiglass shields) between booths to permit usage of sequential booths unable to be separated by six (6) feet so long as the barrier effectively separates the opposite sides of the barrier. 
  • Establishments that choose to have outdoor seating may do so without those customers counting against the 50% occupancy limit so long as those customers remain seated and at least six (6) feet of space is maintained between customers at different tables. 
  • If an establishment uses a tent, at least 50% of the tent perimeter (e.g., 2 sides of a square tent) must remain completely open at all times and six (6) feet of space must be maintained between customers at different tables. 
  • If an establishment uses a tent with fewer than 50% of the perimeter (e.g., for a square tent, fewer than 2 sides) completely open, that tent is considered interior space and is subject to the 50% capacity limitation noted above. 
  •  Prohibit customer traffic in the bar or restaurant except for the purposes of entry 

LOUISIANA

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions 
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor): OPEN at 25% of capacity or up to 50 patrons (seated only), with restrictions

According to The Advocate, Louisiana bars can only start serving again in parishes that show a positivity rate of 5 percent or less for two consecutive weeks, and if the local governing authority – presumably the mayor – opts to do so.

MAINE

  • Restaurants (Indoor Dining): OPEN (50 people maximum)
  • Restaurants (Outdoor Dining) OPEN (100 people maximum)
  • Bars and Tasting Rooms (Indoor + Outdoor): CLOSED

According to the State of Maine, the state was set to move into Phase 4, which would allow bars to reopen and restaurants to increase capacity to 50%; however, the governor put this plan “on hold” as cases began to surge. 

MARYLAND

  • Restaurants (Indoor): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions
  • Restaurants (Outdoor): OPEN at 75% with restrictions
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions 

According to the Maryland Department of Health, all establishments should establish a 6-foot marking system to visually demonstrate the recommended social distancing at all locations where customers and staff congregate. Customers seated at the bar must comply with the appropriate social distancing guidelines of at least 6 feet, except for households or a group seated together. Standing in a bar area should not be permitted.

As of November 18th, a 10 p.m. curfew for all bars and restaurants across the state will be enforced to tighten capacity limits.

MASSACHUSETTS

  • Restaurants (Indoor Dining): OPEN with a 25 person total cap, with restrictions
  • Restaurants (Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 25% occupancy, with restrictions
  • Bars and Nightclubs (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): CLOSED

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and MassLive.com, the number of people allowed per table has recently increased from six to 10 and is now allowing establishments to use bar seating for food service. The order states that indoor gatherings should not exceed more than eight people per 1,000 square feet. The order pertains to both public and private property. Face coverings are required when 10 or more people from different households attend a gathering. Six feet of separation is also required.

Outdoor gatherings should not exceed 25% of the permitted occupancy of the facility or space documented on the occupancy permit on record. When no occupancy limitation exists, the order says, there should be no more than eight people per 1,000 square feet.

MICHIGAN

  • Restaurants (Indoor Dining): CLOSED
  • Restaurants (Outdoor DIning): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions 
  • Bars (if they derive more than 70% of their gross receipts from alcohol): CLOSED

According to Department of Health and Human Services director Robert Gordon and Eater, a new epidemic was issued to order tightening restrictions on indoor activities in an effort to curtail a worrying rise in COVID-19 cases, outbreaks, hospitalizations, and deaths in Michigan. Effective at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, November 18, restaurants and bars must close dining rooms. Socially-distanced outdoor seating, takeout, and delivery are still permitted under a Sunday, November 15 MDHHS order.

MINNESOTA

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): CLOSED
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor): CLOSED

According to Minnesota's Industry Health Guidelines, from Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. through Friday, Dec. 18: The following establishments must stop all food and beverage service for all onsite consumption,whether it is indoors or outdoors: restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, bars, taverns, brewer taprooms, microdistiller cocktail rooms, farm wineries, craft wineries, cideries, golf courses and clubs, dining clubs, and other places of Public Accommodation that offer food and beverages for onsite consumption.

MISSISSIPPI

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 75%, with restrictions 
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor): OPEN at 75%, with restrictions 

According to the Mississippi Department of Health, all parties or groups must be separated by a minimum of 6 feet. Bars may sell alcohol only to seated customers and hours are restricted to 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. 

MISSOURI

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): CLOSED  
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor): CLOSED 

According to Riverfront Times, St. Louis and St. Louis County are imposing new restrictions as COVID-19 hospitalizations surge to record highs. The county is temporarily banning in-person drinking in bars and eating in restaurants while limiting private gatherings to ten people. 

MONTANA

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions 
  • Bars, Distilleries and Breweries (Indoor + Outdoor): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions 

According to the State of Montana, establishments must follow physical distancing guidelines (at least 6 feet apart). Bars and restaurants must remove all customers by 10:00 p.m. Mask required while indoors (except for when eating and drinking). 

NEBRASKA

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 100%, with restrictions 
  • Bars, Distilleries and Breweries (Indoor + Outdoor): OPEN at 100%, with restrictions 

According to Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services. Patrons must remain seated unless placing order or going to a restroom. Table size limited to eight.

NEVADA

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions 
  • Bars, Pubs, Wineries and Breweries: OPEN at 50%, with restrictions 

A Nevada Covid-19 task force recently met to discuss lifting restriction on bars. Bars and restaurants can operate within limitations including mourning distance between customers and facial coverings all around. Customers seated at tables can still be served alcohol, but they cannot congregate in bar areas or be served at the bar. All bar tops will be closed. 

NEW HAMPSHIRE

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 100%, with restrictions 
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor): OPEN at 100%, with restrictions 

According to New Hampshire's Food Service Industry, social distancing must be built into food service operations to maintain a safe distance of at least 6 feet between employees and customers when feasible.

Limit tables to no more than six (6) adults per table and no more than ten (10) individuals total. 4) Table spacing (both indoors and outdoors) should be maintained so people sitting at adjacent tables are more than 6 feet apart. 

Bar areas can open while following social distancing protocols between groups or individuals seated at the bar (capacity may be affected to maintain the appropriate social distancing). Customers are not allowed to stand/mingle in the bar area and must be seated (no groups interacting with each other). 

NEW JERSEY

  • Restaurants (Indoor Dining): OPEN at 25%, with restrictions 
  • Restaurants (Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 100%, with restrictions 
  • Bars (Indoor): OPEN at 25%, with restrictions 
  • Bars (IOutdoor): OPEN at 100%, with restrictions 

According to the Official State Site of New Jersey, restaurants and bars must adhere to the following:

  • Limit seating to a maximum of 8 customers per table - unless from an immediate family or the same household – and arrange seating to achieve a minimum distance of 6 feet between parties;
  • Require customers to provide a phone number if making a reservation to facilitate contact tracing
  • Require customers who wish to enter the indoor portion of the establishment to wear a face covering, unless the customer has a medical reason for not doing so or is a child under two years of age;
  • Require that groups stay 6 feet apart, even in areas where groups are not assigned seating
  • All restaurants, bars, clubs, and lounges that serve food and drink must close their indoor premises for business by 10 pm each day and cannot open until at least 5 am the following day. Outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery services may continue past 10 pm. 

NEW MEXICO

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions 
  • Bars + Nightclubs (Indoor + Outdoor): CLOSED

According to the New Mexico Department of Health, food and drink establishments must complete the New Mexico Safe Certification program by Oct. 30 to offer indoor dining at 25% of maximum capacity. If a food establishment fails to complete the free certification program, it will not be allowed to provide indoor dining. All tables, whether located indoors or outdoors, must be spaced at least six feet apart, and no more than six patrons are permitted at a single table.  Any food or drink establishment in New Mexico that serves alcohol must close at 10 p.m. each night. The businesses must also consent to spot testing of employees, and establish a logbook of all customers who dine-in. 

NEW YORK 

  • Restaurants (Indoor Dining): CLOSED
  • Restaurants (Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions 
  • Bars + Nightclubs (that don’t serve food): CLOSED 
  • Effective 11/13/20, all bars and restaurants must close from 10pm to 5am daily

According to NYC Restaurant Reopening Guide, the “Open Restaurants” program that allows for outdoor seating in front of their establishment on the sidewalk and/or roadway hsa become permanent. All outdoor tables will be separated by a minimum of six feet in all directions, and communal tables are only allowed if diners can remain six feet apart. Indoor dining must be kept at 25% capacity. Temperature checks will be required at the door for all customers

One member of each party will be required to provide contact information for tracing if needed

No bar service - bars will only be used as service bars, a source of making drinks and serving them tableside Masks must be worn at all times when not seated at a table Tables must be six feet apart. Restaurants close at midnight.

NORTH CAROLINA 

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions 
  • Bars (Outdoor): OPEN at 30%, with restrictions 

Restaurants are required to adhere to the following:

  • Ensure social distancing by arranging tables and seating to achieve at least 6-foot separation between parties for indoor and outdoor dining
  • Each group of people sitting at a counter should be separated by six (6) feet
  • Limit to 50% of stated fire capacity or 12 people per 1,000 square feet if there is not a fire code number available
  • When no fire code number is available for outdoor dining, the 12 people per 1,000 square feet number should be applied

NORTH DAKOTA

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 50% 
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor): OPEN at 50%
  • All bars, restaurants and food service establishments are not to exceed 150 patrons, and are closed to in-person service between the hours of 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.

OHIO

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 100%, with restrictions 
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor): OPEN at 100%, with restrictions 
  • 10 p.m. curfews on indoor restaurant service

According to Responsible RestartOhio, restaurants and bars must ensure a minimum of six feet between parties waiting and when dining; if not possible, utilize barriers or other protective devices. Customers and guests must wear face coverings at all times, except when dining. A maximum of 10 people per party. 

OKLAHOMA

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 100%, with restrictions 
  • Bars, Distilleries and Breweries (Indoor + Outdoor): OPEN at 100%, with restrictions 

According to Gov. Kevin Stitt’s new COVID-19 restrictions, the folliwing guidlines must be followed starting Thursday, Nov. 19:

  • All restaurants must space tables at least 6 feet apart, unless tables, booths and bar areas are separated by sanitized dividers.
  • All bars and restaurants must close by 11 p.m. each night. No in-person service of food or alcohol will be allowed after 11 p.m. except for restaurant drive-thru windows or curbside pickup.

OREGON

  • Restaurants (Indoor Dining): CLOSED
  • Restaurants (Outdoor Dining): CLOSED
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor): CLOSED

According to Oregon Government, from November 18 to December 2, Oregon will be in a statewide Two-Week Freeze to stop the rapid spread of COVID-19 across Oregon. These risk reduction measures are critical in limiting the spread of COVID-19, reducing risk in communities more vulnerable to serious illness and death, and helping conserve hospital capacity so that all Oregonians can continue to have access to quality care.

PENNSYLVANIA

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions 
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions 

According to the Official Pennsylvania Website, restaurants and bars can limit indoor occupancy to 50% of stated fire code maximum occupancy, if the facility has self-certified starting on September 21st. If restaurants do not self-certify, they may not exceed 25% of the indoor occupancy limit. 

Food service businesses serving alcohol for on-site consumption must end alcohol sales at 11 p.m. and all alcoholic beverages must be removed from patrons by midnight. 

All customers are required to wear masks while entering, exiting, or otherwise traveling throughout the restaurant or retail food service business. Face coverings may be removed while seated. Customers must have at least six feet between parties at tables, (i.e., the six feet cannot include the space taken up by the seated guest) or physical barriers between customers where booths are arranged back to back. If tables or other seating are not movable, parties must be seated at least six feet apart.

RHODE ISLAND

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 66%, with restrictions 
  • Bars (that offer food service and seating)): OPEN at 66%, with restrictions 

According to Reopening Rhode Island, indoor venues operating at a percent capacity in phase 2 can increase up to 66% capacity with 6-foot spacing; indoor venues operating at a square footage capacity in phase 2 can increase up to 1 person per 100 square feet with 6-foot spacing. 

SOUTH CAROLINA 

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 100%
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor): OPEN at 100%

The governor of South Carolina recently announced that requirements such as spacing tables six feet apart, limiting the number of diners per table to eight and not allowing people to congregate while waiting will now only be strongly encouraged, not necessary.

SOUTH DAKOTA

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 100%
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor): OPEN

While South Dakota businesses were never “forced to close”, the state's “Back to Normal” plan provides guidelines for best practices.

TENNESSEE

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions 
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor): OPEN at 50% (or 50 persons per floor for multi-level bars, whichever is lower), with restrictions 

According to Tennseee’s Office of the Governor, social distancing is required in waiting areas and restrooms and tables should be spaced 6 feet apart. Face coverings should be worn by patrons except while eating or drinking. Bars, bar areas, night clubs, and limited service restaurants should seat tables and parties separated by at least 6 feet and limit gathering by unseated persons. 

TEXAS

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 75%, with restrictions 
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions 

According to the Texas Restaurant Association, all customers within bars or restaurants must be seated while eating or drinking. All individuals must wear a face covering (over the nose and mouth) wherever it is not feasible to maintain 6 feet of social distancing from another individual not in the same household, except when seated at the bar or similar establishment to eat or drink. 

UTAH

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 100%, with restrictions 
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor): OPEN at 75%, with restrictions 
  • No sale of alcohol after 10pm

According to the Utah's Department of Health website, the state is under a statewide mask ban as of 11/8/20.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the restaurant waiting areas must still maintain a 6-feet social distancing, but this does not apply to the the dining room in moderate-transmission counties; bars are limited to 75% capacity and must ask guests to wear masks while mingling with people outside of their group. Distancing in bars and eateries is not mandated in the least restrictive areas. The latest system does away with most previous guidelines, and officials say they are relying on businesses to take responsibility for keeping their customers safe.

VERMONT

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions 
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor): CLOSED, but curbside is allowed
  • Breweries, Tasting Rooms, Wineries, Cideries, Distilleries (Outdoor): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions 
  • Restaurants must close at 10pm for in-person dining, but curbside can continue after

According to the State of Vermont, the following guidelines are required for bars and restaurants to reopen:

  • Restaurants, catering, food service, and bars may allow 50 percent of fire safety occupancy or 1 person per 100 square feet, with a maximum of 75 people indoors and 150 people outdoors or their maximum licensed seating capacity, whichever is less.
  • Seating must be available for all patrons and seating must allow for physical distancing of at least 6 feet between seated dining parties. Standing is not allowed at this time. Customers must be seated while consuming food or beverages.
  • Bar seating may only be open if a physical barrier, such as a piece of plexiglass, separates the patrons from bartenders and the drink preparation area.
  • A counter area, such as a lunch counter or diner counter, may be open if there is at least six feet between customers and six feet between the customer and any waitstaff and no food or beverage production or storage occurs at the counter.
  • Reservations or call ahead seating is required. Waiting areas must accommodate physical distancing.  
  • Shared food service (buffet style) and self-serve utensils, plates or napkins, are prohibited. However, a staffed banquet style buffet may occur if serving lines can accommodate physical distancing.
  • Customers are required to wear face coverings when not eating. 

VIRGINIA

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 100%, with restrictions 
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor): OPEN at 100%, with restrictions 
  • No sale of alcohol after 10pm including on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol in breweries, wineries, and bars.

According to Virginia’s state guidelines, all parties must be separated by at least 6 feet, including in the bar area, (i.e., the 6 feet cannot include the space taken up by the seated guest). If tables are not movable, seat parties at least 6 feet apart, including in the bar area. Spacing must also allow for physical distancing from areas outside of the facility’s control (i.e., provide physical distancing from persons on public sidewalks). All parties, whether seated together or across multiple tables, must be limited to 250 patrons or less. Restaurants may use non-bar seating in the bar area, as long as a minimum of six feet between tables is provided. Bar seats and congregating areas of restaurants must be closed to patrons except for through-traffic. If live musicians are performing at an establishment, they must remain at least ten feet from patrons and staff. Karaoke is prohibited in phase 3.

WASHINGTON

  • Restaurants (Indoor Dining): CLOSED
  • Restaurants (Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions
  • Bars, Taverns, Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries (Outdoor): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions 
  • Bars, Taverns, Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries (Indoor; that don’t serve food): CLOSED

According to Washington’s State Site, Stay Safe-Stay Healthy, these requirements are effective November 17, 2020 through December 14, 2020: • Restaurants and Bars are closed for indoor dine-in service. • Outdoor dining and to-go service are permitted, provided that all outdoor dining must comply with the requirements of the Outdoor Dining Guidance. • Table size for outdoor dining is limited to a maximum of five (5) people. • These modified restaurant and bar restrictions go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, November 18, 2020. • These restrictions apply state-wide regardless of county phase.

WEST VIRGINIA

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions 
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions 

According to West Virginia Strong, all seating (bar and dining area) should be spaced to maintain at least six (6) feet of distance between patrons who do not reside or arrive together. Patrons are not allowed congregate in waiting areas

WISCONSIN 

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 25%
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 25% 

According to the State of Wisconsin’s latest order, due to surge in Covid-19 cases, groups larger than 25% of the indoor room’s occupancy are prohibited, as determined by the local municipality. For example, if the local municipality sets a capacity limit of 100 people in a given indoor room, only 25 people would be able to be in that room. 

WYOMING

  • Restaurants (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions
  • Bars (Indoor + Outdoor Dining): OPEN at 50%, with restrictions 

According the Wyoming Department of Health, customers must be seated at tables or booths. If seated at a bar, patrons of separate households or groups must be 6 (six) feet apart. Tables must be limited to eight (8) people, unless the members of one household exceed that number. Tables must be positioned so that patrons at different tables are at least six (6) feet apart from each other on all sides (does not apply to booths). Due to winter, plans to expand indoor dining are currently in discussion. 

[Photo via Pixabay]