Phase 1 Re-opening
Per the Governor’s Executive Order 61, which takes effect in Arlington at 12:00 a.m. on May 29, food establishments may open for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining only. Read the Governor’s Executive Order.
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” document. 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 1, businesses should continue to offer takeout and delivery options. If businesses choose to open to dine-in customers, they may only do so in outdoor spaces and must adhere to the following additional requirements for outdoor service:
- Post 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 (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).
- Occupancy must be limited to no more than 50% of the lowest occupancy load on the certificate of occupancy, if applicable, while maintaining a minimum of six feet of physical distancing between all individuals as much as possible.
- Provide a minimum of six feet between parties at tables, (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. 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).
- Do not seat parties of more than 10 patrons. All parties, whether seated together or across multiple tables, must be limited to 10 patrons or less.
- Do not seat multiple parties at any one table unless marked with six foot divisions (such as with tape).
- Bar seats and congregating areas of restaurants must be closed to patrons except for through-traffic. Non-bar seating in the outdoor 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.
- Keep game areas, dance floors, and playgrounds closed. If live musicians are performing at an establishment, they must remain at least six feet from patrons and staff.
- 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.
- Use single-use disposable menus (e.g., paper) and discard after each customer. Reusable menus are not permitted in Phase I. Refilling food and beverage containers or implements brought in by customers is not allowed in Phase I.
- Prior to each shift, employers should ask that the employee self-measure their temperature and assess symptoms. Please see VDH Interim Guidance for Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers During Widespread Community Transmission.
- No self-service of food (except beverages), including condiments. Condiments must be removed from tables and dispensed by employees upon the request of a customer. Buffets must be staffed by servers. For self-service beverage areas, use beverage equipment designed to dispense by a contamination-free method.
- Perform thorough 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 and credit card/bill folders must be disinfected 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.
- Only 10 patrons may wait for takeout in the lobby area at one time.
Food establishments that choose to open during Phase 1, 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 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 “Toolkit” section of the Virginia Department of Health’s Businesses webpage or see below.
In addition to the mandatory requirements above, VDH also recommends implementing best practices as feasible. For more information on best practices, visit: www.vdh.virginia.gov/environmental-health/food-establishments-and-covid19.
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.