Restaurants, bars eager to increase customers, keep everyone safe

Restaurants, bars eager to increase customers, keep everyone safe

PITTSBURGH — People involved in the local food scene held a webinar Thursday to share guidance on the rules for restaurants and bars in the green phase and how they can all help people feel safe while eating out.

“There’s two things we’re dealing with right now. One is complying with government guidelines designed to help keep people safe and secondly, convincing people it’s OK to come back out,” said John Longstreet, from the PA Restaurant and Lodging Association.

First, that means following the overall green phase rules and guidelines issued by the governor’s office:

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  • Restaurants and bars may resume indoor and outdoor dining at a reduced capacity as described below.
  • Gatherings up to 250 people are permitted within occupancy restrictions.
  • Caterers may resume on-site catering functions, such as food setup, buffet or table service, and bar service within restrictions on dining protocols as outlined below.
  • Businesses that have been operating at 50% capacity under the red and yellow phases may increase to 75% capacity.

Restaurants and bars also have additional guidelines issued by the Allegheny County Health Department.

They include:

  • Posting COVID-19 safety procedures
  • Excluding sick employees from working
  • Requiring employees and guests to wear masks
  • Allowing 6 feet of space between diners in outdoor seating areas
  • Providing physical guards to ensure customers remain at least 6 feet apart
  • Cleaning and disinfecting tables and chairs after each person/group
  • Increasing back of house cleaning
  • Limiting the sharing of equipment

You can read the full list of guidelines from the Allegheny County Health Department HERE.

Restaurants that fail to follow the state and county guidelines risk disciplinary action including having their license suspended.

Restaurant reopen, people start dining-in at some restaurants