SPOKANE, Wash. - Gov. Jay Inslee is issuing new guidance on dining during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Inslee has released new "open air" concepts. According to Inslee, "open air seating occurs in a structure with one or more permeable exterior walls, allowing outside air to easily exchange within occupies seating areas and maintain carbon dioxide levels below 450ppm(2)." A permeable wall is one that's made of a material or design that doesn't significantly impact natural air flow.

OPEN AIR CONCEPTS:

  • Open Air Concept 1: Seating area has two or more adjacent nonpermeable walls. Occupancy is limited to 25% of the seating area set by the fire code (not including employees).
  • Open Air Concept 2: Structures have two, non-adjacent permeable, unblocked walls that allow cross ventilation. Must have CO2 monitoring areas not within direct path of area.
  • Open Air Concept 1 & 2: 
      • Carbon dioxide (CO2) continuously monitored when the seating area is in use to ensure adequate exchange with outdoor air. If CO2 levels exceed 450ppm for 15 minutes, patrons must be relocated to an open‐air seating option that meets requirements.

      • Table size is limited to six people and tables must be spaced to allow nearest diners at neighboring table seating to be at least 6 feet apart

      • Windows and doors must be opened 10 minutes prior to seating customers and remain open 10 minutes after customers leave.

      • CO2 monitor must be in the seating area furthest away from the outdoor air source.  
  • Open Air Concept 3: Seating happens in unobstructed outdoor air. This includes seating on sidewalks, covered patios, courtyard or similar outdoor areas. Outdoor seating may have an overhead cover, one wall, and no other impermeable barrier exceeding four feet high and 10 feet of seating area. Table size is limited to six people and tables must be spaced to allow nearest diners at neighboring table seating to be at least 6 feet apart
  • Open Air Concept 4: Enclosed structures provide protection from the weather and include: Pods, igloos and similar outdoor structures occupied by six or fewer people at a time. Structures must be completely aired out, cleaned and disinfected before each use. Businesses using enclosed structures must:
    • Limit to one seating group (six or fewer people) at a time.
    • Keep doors and windows open when the structure is occupied by staff.
    • Ensure the structure is aired out and sanitized between groups. Wait 10 minutes to air the structure out before cleaning and sanitizing.
    • Use ordering and service methods to reduce or limit employee time in the occupied pod; employees serving the pod must, at minimum, use disposable masks for medium risk. 

For more about how to set up outdoor seating, click here.