During Phase 3, food establishments may open for takeout, delivery, and indoor and outdoor dining. Bar seating will remain prohibited in restaurants.
Businesses must strictly adhere to the physical distancing guidelines, enhanced cleaning and disinfection practices, and enhanced workplace safety practices provided in the Guidelines for All Business Sectors and Executive Order 67. Virginia Department of Health and Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services regulated facilities must continue to follow requirements related to prohibiting sick employees in the workplace, strict handwashing practices, and procedures and practices to clean and sanitize surfaces.
During Phase 3, businesses should continue to offer takeout and delivery options. If businesses choose to open to dine-in customers, they may do so in indoor and outdoor spaces and must adhere to the following additional requirements for service:
- Post signage at the entrance that states that no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19, a positive diagnostic test for the virus that causes COVID-19 in the prior 10 days, or known exposure to a COVID-19 case in the prior 14 days, is permitted in the establishment. (See links to sample signage at the bottom of this page).
- Post signage at the entrance and at points of sale stating that patrons must wear a cloth face covering, except while eating and drinking, in accordance with Executive Order 63. (See links to sample signage at the bottom of this page).
- Post signage to provide public health reminders regarding physical distancing, gatherings, options for high-risk individuals, and staying home if sick. (See links to sample signage at the bottom of this page).
- All parties must be separated by at least six feet, including in the bar area (i.e., the six feet cannot include the space taken up by the seated guest). If tables are not movable, seat parties at least six 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 25 patrons or less.
- Bar seats and congregating areas of restaurants must be closed to patrons except for through-traffic. Non-bar seating in the bar area (i.e., tables or counter seats that do not line up to a bar or food service area) may be used for customer seating as long as a minimum of six feet is provided between parties at tables.
- Do not seat multiple parties at any one table unless marked with six foot divisions (such as with tape).
- If live musicians are performing at an establishment, they must remain at least ten feet from patrons and staff. Karaoke must remain closed.
- Employees working in customer dining and service areas are required to wear face coverings over their nose and mouth, such as using CDC Use of Cloth Face Coverings guidance.
- Buffets may be open for self-service, with continuous monitoring by trained staff required at food lines, and serving utensils must be changed hourly during peak meal times. Facilities must provide hand sanitizer at buffets, and employees and patrons must use barriers (e.g. gloves or deli tissue) when touching utensils.
- Promote frequent and thorough hand washing, including by providing employees, customers, visitors, the general public, and other persons entering into the place of employment with a place to wash their hands. If soap and running water are not immediately available, provide hand sanitizers. Additional hand hygiene requirements for Virginia employees and employers can be found in the Department of Labor and Industry’s Emergency Temporary Standard. Further hand hygiene guidance can be found on the CDC website. A CDC training video is also available here.
- Perform routine cleaning and disinfection of frequently contacted surfaces including digital ordering devices, check presenters, self-service areas, tabletops, bathroom surfaces, and other common touch areas every 60 minutes during operation. Tabletops must be cleaned between patrons.
- Table resets must be done by an employee who has washed their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds just prior to reset activities.
- Patrons may wait for takeout or for seated dining in the lobby area, but they must maintain six feet of physical distance between parties.
- Prior to a shift and on days employees are scheduled to work, employees must screen themselves for symptoms prior to starting work. Employees should also self-monitor their symptoms by self-taking of temperature to check for fever and utilizing the questions provided in the VDH Interim Guidance for COVID-19 Daily Screening of Employees before reporting to work (a sample symptom monitoring log is available in this Interim Guidance). CDC considers a person to have a fever when they have a measured temperature of 100.4° F (38° C) or greater, feels warm to the touch, or gives a history of feeling feverish.
- For employers with established occupational health programs, employers can consider measuring temperature and assessing symptoms of employees prior to starting work/before each shift. CDC considers a person to have a fever when they have a measured temperature of 100.4° F (38° C) or greater, feels warm to the touch, or gives a history of feeling feverish. If implementing health checks, conduct them safely and respectfully, and in accordance with any applicable privacy and records retention laws and regulations. Confidentiality should be respected.
- No alcoholic beverage shall be sold, consumed, or possessed on premises after 10:00 p.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery, or tasting room. Alcoholic beverages may continue to be sold via delivery or take-out after 10 p.m., as permitted by existing regulations promulgated by the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority.
- Close all dining and congregation areas in restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5 a.m. Restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms may continue to offer delivery and take-out services between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5 a.m.
Food establishments must post the following signage:
- Signage at the entrance that states that no one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19, or known exposure to a COVID-19 case in the prior 14 days, is permitted in the establishment
- Signage at the entrance and at points of sale stating that patrons must wear a cloth face covering, except while eating and drinking, in accordance with Executive Order 63.
- Signage to provide public health reminders regarding physical distancing, gatherings, options for high risk individuals, and staying home if sick
For sample signs that meet these requirements, visit the “Signage Toolkits” section of the Virginia Department of Health’s Businesses webpage or see below.
- Entrance Sign
- Mandatory Mask Sign (English)
- Mandatory Mask Sign (multiple languages)
- Public Health Reminders
- Table tent
In addition to the mandatory requirements above, VDH also recommends implementing best practices as feasible.
Precautions to Continue Operations if a Worker Becomes Sick
CDC recommends food service employers take the following precautions to continue operations if a worker is suspected to have, or is diagnosed with, COVID-19:
- Workers who have or develop symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, or shortness of breath) should notify their supervisor and stay home or go home.
- Sick workers should follow CDC recommendations. Employees should not return to work until they meet all the criteria to end home isolation, in consultation with a healthcare provider.
- Close off areas used by the person who is sick.
- Clean and disinfect the sick worker’s workspace. Wait 24 hours—or if 24 hours is not possible, wait as long as practical—before cleaning or disinfecting.
- Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the exposed area, if reasonable given food safety regulations.
- Collect information about the worker’s contacts with co-workers, up to 2 days prior to symptom onset, to identify other workers who could have been exposed.
- Inform any workers who may have been exposed, while maintaining confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Instruct potentially exposed workers what to do based on the CDC’s Public Health Recommendations for Community-Related Exposure.