SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane County has officially moved into Phase 2 of Governor Jay Inslee's reopening plan. So what does this look like for local restaurants?

Secretary of Health John Wiesman outlined what Spokane County will have to do now that it's moved into the next phase. One such condition is that businesses are only allowed to reopen after they can implement state guidelines for a safe start. 

For restaurants and taverns, this comes with the following requirements:

  • Hand sanitizer should be available at entry for all staff and patrons (assuming supply availability)
  • No bar seating is permitted during Phase 2. If an establishment has bar seating, it must be closed off to prohibit use.
  • If the establishment does not offer table service, they must have protocols in place to ensure adequate social distancing at food and drink pick-up stations and seating within their dining area. 
  • All parties and tables must be five guests or less.
  • Guest occupancy must be 50% of maximum building occupancy or lower as determined by the fire code. Outdoor seating is permitted but must also be at 50% capacity. Outdoor seating does not count toward the building capacity limit. Outdoor seating must follow all other requirements listed.
  • Tables must be far enough apart when measured from occupied chair to occupied chair, to ensure dine-in guests seated at a table are a minimum of six feet away from guests at adjacent tables. Or, there must be a physical barrier or wall separating booths or tables.
  • It is strongly suggested customers wear a cloth face covering anytime they are not seated at the table (while being seated or leaving, or while going to the restroom)
  • Buffets and salad bars are not permitted at this time but may be addressed through subsequent interpretive guidance.
  • Single-use menus are required for in-person dining
  • Any condiments typically left on the table (ketchup, soy sauce, etc.) must be single-use or sanitized after each use
  • Restaurants must have implemented a plan to ensure proper physical distancing in lobby/waiting areas/payment counters
  • Minimize the number of staff serving any given table. It is strongly recommended that one staff person take a table's order, bring all of their beverages, food, utensils and take their payment.

Restaurant owners will also have a number of general obligations to keep staff safe and healthy during Phase 2, including maintaining social distancing, providing PPE to employees, ensuring frequent hand washing and frequent cleaning is taking place and screening employees for signs of COVID-19. 

The full list of requirements for restaurants and taverns under Phase 2 can be viewed HERE

Requirements for other areas of business now allowed under Phase 2 can be found HERE.

If you are a restaurant owner and your business is up and running, let us know HERE and we'll compile a list of where customers can go to get their first meal out of the house.