It’s hard to keep track of anything lately, 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 new variant surges, 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!
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.
Bars and restaurants may resume full operations. Face coverings and reservations are encouraged; however, walk-ins are permitted.
According to Arizona Department of Health Services, restaurants can open without capacity restrictions however are still required to keep individuals or groups at least 6 feet from one another. Individuals are required to wear a mask and practice social distancing inside restaurants.
As of March, Gov. Hutchinson announced all capacity restrictions are lifted at restaurants; however, the max mandate is still in place.
As of June 15, the stay-at-home order has been lifted. However, due to the number of cases caused by the Delta variant, the state health department has ordered all unvaccinated individuals ages 2 and over to wear a mask in indoor public spaces and businesses. Those individuals 2 and up who are vaccinated are ordered by Los Angeles County health department to wear masks in indoor public settings within its jurisdiction (including gatherings and public and private businesses). As of August 20, San Francisco will require proof of vaccination for indoor dining. Los Angeles is also calling for a vaccine mandate ordinance to be drafted, which is expected to require proof of vaccination to enter restaurants and bars.
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, Colorado remains at Level Blue COVID-19 restrictions which allow restaurants to operate to 100%. However, individuals 12 and up who are not fully vaccinated must wear a mask indoors in certain settings. Everyone, regardless of vaccination status, is required to wear a mask when using public transportation.
As of May 19, restaurants can now stay open until midnight; restaurants and bars can serve alcohol outside without serving food. There are no table size limits. Indoor diners are still required to wear masks. Effective until September 30, the state's governor requires unvaccinated individuals to wear a mask in indoor public spaces. State employees must be vaccinated on or before Sept. 27.
According to Delaware Health and Social Services, businesses may operate at full capacity; while it is not required, it is still encouraged to wear face coverings when in indoor public places. Face coverings are required, regardless of vaccination status, when taking public transportation or entering healthcare facilities. Individuals from different households are recommended to stay 3 feet apart from one another. Public indoor social gatherings that exceed 250 people require permission from the health department.
Due to the increase in Florida's cases, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced individuals must wear a mask in county facilities, regardless of vaccination status.
As of May 1, 2021, the governor removed the remaining social distancing requirements at bars and restaurants and eliminated masks requirements for customer-facing staff like servers and bartenders. However, restaurants and bars can continue to individually implement these and other safety measures, including requiring both staff and patrons to wear masks and limiting capacity. In July 2021, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms ordered individuals ages 10 and up to wear a mask in indoor public spaces.
Beginning Sept. 13, customers wishing to enter Oahu restaurants, bars, gyms and other establishments will need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. Also, restaurants and bars will have to stop serving alcohol at 10 p.m.
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.
City officials stated that, effective immediately, restaurants, bars and events can offer indoor service at 100% capacity. Outdoor dining can now also accommodate more than six people per table. Restaurants, bars and event venues are no longer limited to 50 people within any one space.
According to the Indiana State Department of Health, restaurants and bars must maintain appropriate social distancing. A bar section must have people seated.
As of May 14, 2021, Mayor Cownie removed the mandate for wearing face coverings in Des Moines. Those still needing COVID-19 vaccinations are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings in public.
As of August 16, New Orleans is putting vaccine mandate in place requiring at least partial vaccination starting to dine in restaurants and bars.
According to the State of Maine, as of May 24th, all State of Maine COVID-19 checklists have been retired.
According to the Maryland Department of Health, all establishments should still establish a 6-foot marking system to visually demonstrate the recommended social distancing at all locations where customers and staff congregate.
As of March 1, restaurants in Massachusetts will no longer be subject to percentage-based capacity limits, as the state enters Phase 3, Step 2 of its reopening plan. Restaurants will also be permitted to host musical performances. In Provincetown, employees and customers must wear a face mask in indoor public spaces, including fitness centers.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced all indoor gatherings can open at 100% capacity; additionally, there are no longer any restrictions on outdoor gatherings or a curfew for bars or restaurants.
Due to the increase in cases, effective July 26, 2021, St. Louis city and health department require individuals 5 and up to wear a mask in indoor public spaces and while using public transportation.
According to the State of Montana, establishments are recommended to follow physical distancing guidelines (at least 6 feet apart). Mask required while indoors (except for when eating and drinking).
Individuals 2 years old and older must wear a mask in indoor public spaces unless social distancing can be maintained.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that restaurants throughout New York state, which are currently operating at 75%, can reopen at full capacity starting on May 19. Other regulations will remain in place including mask-wearing and social distancing. Operators must either seat diners at least six feet apart or tables must be separated by physical barriers. New York City is requiring proof of partial vaccination in order to eat and drink inside at bars at restaurants and will be enforced by the city until September 13.
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.
While South Dakota businesses were never “forced to close”, the state's “Back to Normal” plan provides guidelines for best practices.
According to Tennessee’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, nightclubs, and limited service restaurants should seat tables and parties separated by at least 6 feet and limit gathering by unseated persons.
As of July 28 2021 and in place until further notice, individuals ages 3 and up (including employees and visitors) are required to wear a mask when inside city facilities. City employees acting within the scope of their employment must also wear a mask when outside a city facility.
As of June 2021, the state lifted its 10 p.m. curfew for bars and clubs. According to the State of Vermont, the state is in "Step 3" of the Vermont Forward plan with the following regulations in place: A 300 cap on indoor gathering restrictions or one unvaccinated individual per 50 square feet. There are no limits on the number of vaccinated people. A cap of 900 people for outdoor gatherings. There are no limits on the number of vaccinated people. Masking and distancing for people who are unvaccinated is still required.
According to Washington’s State Site, restaurants and bars can resume indoor dining at full capacity. Table size increased to 10 with no household restrictions and alcohol service allowed until 12 a.m.
[Photo via Pixabay]