What Restaurants Need To Know About The Second-Phase Reopening

The second phase of New York City’s gradual reopening begins June 22, and many restaurants will be able to serve patrons in outdoor-dining settings. 

Mayor de Blasio issued guidelines during his Thursday morning press conference, and the city’s Health Department published a FAQ page to help restaurant owners maintain health standards during the COVID era. 

The following are mandatory city guidelines for operating outdoor dining.

—Restaurants that are planning outdoor dining in the second-phase reopening need to fill out this business affirmation form

—Curbside seating applications will become available Friday, June 19

—Businesses won’t need to fill out a separate application from the State Liquor Authority. Any business with a liquor license can serve in a space adjacent to the business

—Sidewalk seating must maintain a clear path for entry/exit

—Curb-lane seating is prohibited in No Standing Anytime areas, bus stops and within 15 feet of hydrants 

Fill out this safety plan and post it at your place of business

New York State also issued the following mandatory guidelines for outdoor dining.

—All tables with seats must be at least six feet from any other table, seat, patron or pedestrian thoroughfare or corridor

—Ensure an indoor capacity to accommodate patrons who may need to enter or exit through the indoor space to access the outdoor seating, restrooms or payment location, and allow such access in a socially-distanced manner 

—Close indoor dining and seating areas to customers; employees must wear face coverings at all times 

—Patrons must wear face coverings at all times, except while seated; provided that the patron is over the age of two and able to medically tolerate a mask

—Limit outdoor capacity to the number of tables that can be safely and appropriately arranged, such that each table is a minimum of six feet away from another; if distancing is not feasible between tables, enact physical barriers between such tables   

—Individuals seated at the same table must be members of the same party (but may be from different households), with a maximum of 10 people per table; communal tables are only permitted if at least six feet can be maintained between parties

—Clearly signal six feet of spacing in any lines for customers waiting to order, pick up food, be seated or use the restroom, as well as in any pick-up or payment location 

—Designate entrances and exits for customers and separate entrances and exits for employees, where possible 

—Limit in-person gatherings (e.g. staff meetings) to the greatest extent possible; establish designated areas for vendor pickups and deliveries, limiting contact to the extent possible

Please note that city and state requirements may change as we learn more about COVID-19 and the best ways to reduce transmission and keep New Yorkers safe 

Call 311 if you think your business could benefit from any of these COVID safety posters.

photo: iStock