Recently, many more states and cities have begun to allow indoor dining once again, albeit with restrictions such as capacity limits and table spacing requirements.
While this is certainly good news for the restaurant industry, including local business and workers, as well as customers looking to enjoy a meal at their favorite dining spot, it’s still important to be mindful of the risk posed by COVID-19, especially considering the spread of more contagious variants.
Going to restaurants and bars increases your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 because:
- People from different households are gathering in the same space.
- Eating and drinking requires the removal of a mask.
- Poor indoor ventilation may cause the virus to accumulate in the air.
Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) continues to emphasize the safest way to enjoy and support restaurants and bars is to take out food and eat it at home with people who live with you or ask to be seated outside if the weather allows.
However, if you do choose to dine inside, there are ways to reduce your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. To promote a safer experience, you may want to:
- Check the restaurant’s or bar’s COVID-19 prevention practices before you go. Guidelines should require both staff and patrons to wear masks when not eating or drinking.
- Avoid busy times. It’s safest to visit when fewer people are there.
- Sit at tables spaced at least 6 feet apart from people you don’t live with.
- Minimize the time you spend in the restaurant or bar. The longer you stay, the more you increase your risk.