SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – As food establishments in Utah start to reopen, it has become confusing for Utahns to know what to expect, but the state has given them fairly clear guidelines.

In the low risk phase (yellow), restaurants and bars can now serve to dine-in guests but many consumers say they are seeing different protocols depending on where they go.

ABC4 wanted to help clear up the confusion so we have listed what you should be seeing when you arrive at any eating establishment.

Related: The new normal with dining in and social distancing

The following protocols must be followed while in the yellow phase but it is also important to know that individual restaurants could enhance their policies if necessary:

For dine-in services
Dine-in services, including buffets and bars, may be open under the following requirements

  • Limit tables to groups of 10, preferably members of the same household
  • Tables must be arranged so there is appropriate distance between diners.
  • Groups of patrons at a table must maintain a distance of 6 feet from patrons of other parties at all times. Either move tables or mark off tables not to be used
  • In waiting areas, a 6-foot distance must be maintained between parties, whether indoor or outdoor
  • Maintain signage to remind individuals from separate parties to stand at least 6 feet apart; waiting area has floor markers to indicate proper spacing
  • Hosts preferably open doors for customers and guide them to their seats to prevent traffic or congregating; hand sanitizer available at door
  • Recommendation that upon entry, hosts point guests to signage that includes the following information:
    • Outlines symptoms and encourages that if the patron, or someone they live with, has experienced COVID-19 symptoms, to please order takeout instead
    • Recommendation for high-risk individuals to order takeout/delivery instead of dining in for the protection of that individual
  • Manager checks each employee for symptoms before every shift with temperatures taken and asks if any member of the employee’s household has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Log must be kept and available for inspection by the local health officer
  • Staff must wear face coverings at all times and perform hand hygiene between interactions with each table
  • Cups, lids, napkins and straws must be handed directly to customers by staff
  • Do not place utensils on table until patron is seated
  • Encourage contactless and non-signature payment; when not possible, card and payment stations must be sanitized after each use. Staff must sanitize hands between handling payment options and food/containers
  • Staff avoid touching items that have been placed on the table (menus, plates, utensils, pens, cups, etc.). The table will be cleared by a dedicated staff member once all guests have left
  • Dedicated staff member sanitizes the area occupied by customers upon departure including tables, menus, pens, salt and pepper shakers, etc. Consider use of disposable items if necessary
  • The restaurant may not operate if PPE, EPA-approved disinfectants and sanitizers, soap, and other necessary cleaning supplies are not available; sanitizer is effective against COVID-19. Chlorine (bleach) at 100-200 ppm is recommended
  • Hand sanitizer must be available immediately adjacent to bathrooms
  • Close restaurant for cleaning and disinfecting in the morning, afternoon, and evening. Cleaning and disinfecting includes all tables, chairs, door handles, floors, bathrooms, and any high-touch surfaces
  • Buffet and self-serve restaurants will provide utensils, cups, plates and other service items only from the counter where food is ordered. None of these items will be accessible to the public. Buffet style restaurants will provide servers who will serve the meals from buffet to limit exposure
  • Stagger workstations so employees are not facing one another and are 6 feet apart unless barriers are used, or face coverings are worn
  • To-go boxes, pizza boxes, paper cups, and any other paper product that touches food must be treated as food
  • Staff must use gloves when handling ready-to-eat foods (including ice). Gloves are not required when handling foods that have yet to be cooked
  • Indoor playgrounds in restaurants remain closed

For takeout services

  • Symptom checking of employees
  • Staff wear face coverings when 6-foot distance is difficult to maintain
  • Stagger workstations so workers can maintain a 6-foot distance and do not face one another unless barriers are used, or face coverings are worn
  • Encourage contactless payment; if not possible, disinfect transaction terminal between customers
  • Staff must sanitize hands between handling payment options and food/containers
  • When delivering food, drivers use hand sanitizer before passing delivery to customers and use disposable containers/packaging that do not need to be returned
  • Employers provide personal protection equipment such as face coverings, hair nets, gloves, overalls
  • Customers voluntarily provide contact information to assist with contact tracing efforts

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