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Washington restaurants reopening in Phase 2 must follow these rules

Inslee's office published Monday a set of instructions that restaurant owners, employees and customers must follow in order for dine-in places to reopen.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Editor's note: The above video aired at an earlier date. 

On Monday, Gov. Jay Inslee issued guidance for restaurants that can partially resume dine-in capabilities under the Safe Start Phase 2 recovery plan laid out last week.

Through the Washington Safe Start plan, more businesses and activities will re-open in subsequent phases with adequate safety and health standards in place. Each phase will be at least three weeks and data will guide when the state can move from one phase to another. 

Restaurants and taverns are referenced in Phase 2 of the plan, which calls for dining rooms with less than 50% of capacity, tables with no more than five people and no bar area seating.

"No restaurant or tavern may operate indoor or sit-down services until they can meet and maintain all requirements, including providing materials, schedules and equipment required to comply," the guidance states. 

RELATED: Washington restaurants could partially reopen by June 1 under Phase 2 recovery plan

Under state guidance, all businesses are strongly encouraged to require their customers to use cloth face coverings when interacting with their staff.

Restaurants must also abide by the following regulations: 

  • Hand sanitizer should be available at entry for all staff and patrons.
  • If the establishment does not offer table service, they must have protocols in place to ensure adequate social distancing at food and drink pick-up stations, and seating within their dining area.
  • Tables must be placed far enough apart to ensure dine-in guests seated at a table are a minimum of 6 feet away from others, or that there must be a physical barrier like a wall separating booths and tables. 
  • Buffets and salad bars are not permitted at this time.
  • If the establishment offers table service, they must create a daily log of all customers and maintain that daily log for 30 days, including telephone/email contact information, and time in. This will allow any contact tracing that might need to occur.
  • Single-use menus are required for in-person dining.
  • Any condiments typically left on the table (ketchup, soy sauce, etc.) must be single-use or sanitized after each use.
  • Restaurants must have implemented a plan to ensure proper physical distancing in lobby/waiting areas/payment counters.

Employers and employees must also maintain a minimum six-foot separation between all other employees and customers. The state says employers must provide personal protective equipment to all employees, and they must be worn by those on the job.

The state also mandates that restaurant employers establish a housekeeping schedule that includes frequent cleaning and sanitizing with a particular emphasis on commonly touched surfaces. Employers must also screen employees for signs/symptoms of coronavirus at the start of a shift. 

General questions about how to comply with agreement practices can be submitted to the state’s Business Response Center

Other businesses and workers can click here to learn about opening guidelines for their industries. 

RELATED: Washingtonians can now get cocktails to-go during coronavirus pandemic

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