Yellow Phase General Guidelines:
Work & Congregate Setting Restrictions
- Telework Must Continue Where Feasible
- Businesses with In-Person Operations Must Follow Business and Building Safety Orders
- Child Care Open Complying with Guidance
- Congregate Care and Prison Restrictions in Place
- Schools Remain Closed for In-Person Instruction
- Stay at Home Order Lifted for Aggressive Mitigation
- Large Gatherings of More than 25 Prohibited
- In-Person Retail Allowable, Curbside and Delivery Preferable
- Indoor Recreation, Health and Wellness Facilities and Personal Care Services (such as gyms, spas, hair salons, nail salons and other entities that provide massage therapy), and all Entertainment (such as casinos, theaters) Remain Closed
- Restaurants and Bars Limited to Carry-Out and Delivery Only
- Are permitted to add dine-in service in outdoor seating areas so long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of the guidance, including maximum occupancy limits
- All businesses must follow CDC and DOH guidance for social distancing and cleaning
- Monitor public health indicators, adjust orders and restrictions as necessary
Yellow Phase Outdoor Dining
Beginning June 5, restaurants and retail food service businesses located in counties designated as being in the yellow phase are permitted add dine-in service in outdoor seating areas so long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of the guidance, including maximum occupancy limits:
- Indoor areas, including bar areas, of restaurants and retail food service businesses must be closed to customers except for through-traffic. Non-bar seating in outdoor areas (i.e., tables or counter seats that do not line up to a bar or food service area) may be used for customer seating.
- Customers being served must be seated at a table.
Prohibitions are also included. The following are not permitted:
- Self-service food or drink options, such as buffets, salad bars, condiments, and drink stations.
- Condiments on tables; these must be dispensed by employees upon the request of a customer.
- Reusable menus.
- Refilling food and beverage containers or allowing implements brought in by customers
All businesses and employees in the restaurant and retail food service industry authorized to conduct inperson activities pursuant to this guidance must do the following:
Follow all applicable provisions of the Guidance for Businesses Permitted to Operate During the COVID19 Disaster Emergency to Ensure the Safety and Health of Employees and the Public, available here, including provisions requiring the establishment of protocols for execution upon discovery that the business has been exposed to a person who is a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19.
Require all customers to wear masks while entering, exiting, or otherwise traveling throughout the restaurant or retail food service business. Face coverings may be removed while seated. o Individuals who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition (including children under the age of two years per CDC guidance) are not required to wear masks and are not required to provide documentation of such medical condition.
Provide at least six feet between parties at tables, (i.e., the six feet cannot include the space taken up by the seated guest). If tables or other seating are not movable, seat parties at least six feet apart.
Spacing must also allow for physical distancing from areas outside of the facility’s control (i.e. such that pedestrians on a sidewalk can pass with at least six feet of distance to customer).
Ensure maximum occupancy limits for indoor and outdoor areas are posted and strictly enforced. Maximum occupancy is calculated using the following two methods. The more restrictive number must be used.
- Method 1. Limit to 50% of stated fire capacity or 12 people per 1,000 square feet if there is not a fire code number available. When no fire code number is available for outdoor dining, the 12 people per 1,000 square feet number should be applied. 3 Issued 05-27-2020
- Method 2. Arrange the restaurant or retail food service business so that customers sitting at a table are not within six feet of any customers sitting at another table in any direction and calculate the maximum number of customers that can be accommodated.
Don’t use shared tables among multiple parties unless the seats can be arranged to maintain six feet of distance between parties.
Close or remove amenities and congregate areas non-essential to the preparation and service of food or beverages such as dance floors, child play areas, interactive games, and video arcades.
Train all employees on the importance and expectation of increased frequency of handwashing, the use of hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, and provide clear instructions to avoid touching hands to face.
Assign employee(s) to monitor and clean high touch areas frequently while in operation including entrance doors, bathroom surfaces, host stands etc., and continue to regularly clean all other areas of the restaurant or retail food service businesses. Clean and disinfect any shared items with which customers will come in contact such as tabletops, digital menus, check presenters, and digital payment devices after each customer use.
Implement procedures to increase cleaning and sanitizing frequency in the back of house. Avoid all food contact surfaces when using disinfectants.
Provide physical guides, such as tape on floors or sidewalks and signage on walls to ensure that customers remain at least six feet apart in lines or waiting for seating or in line for the restroom. Encourage customers ordering take-out to wait in their vehicles after ordering.
Close or remove amenities and congregate areas non-essential to the preparation and service of food or beverages such as dance floors, game areas, playgrounds, etc.
Provide non-medical masks for employees to wear at all times and make it mandatory to wear masks while at the restaurant or retail food service business. An employee does not need to wear a mask if it impedes their vision, if they have a medical condition, or if it would create an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task. Employers may approve masks obtained or made by employees according to Department of Health policies.
Where possible, stagger work stations to avoid employees standing adjacent or next to each other. Where six feet of separation is not possible, consider spacing options that include other mitigation efforts with increased frequency of cleaning and sanitizing surfaces.
Establish a limit for the number of employees in shared spaces, including break rooms, and offices to maintain at least a six-foot distance.
Ensure employees do not share equipment to the extent possible (e.g., cooking equipment, trays, etc.).
Verify that dishwashing machines are operating at the required wash, rinse and sanitize temperatures and with appropriate detergents and sanitizers.
Follow all requirements of the Department of Agriculture’s Food Code regulations, even when altering from normal types of food delivery. All businesses and employees in the restaurant and retail food service industry authorized to conduct inperson activities pursuant to this guidance are encouraged to do the following:
Establish a written, worksite-specific COVID-19 prevention plan at every location, perform a comprehensive risk assessment of all work areas, and designate a person to implement the plan.
Prior to each shift, ask that the employees self-measure their temperature and assess symptoms.
Utilize reservations for dining on premises to maintain records of all appointments, including contact information for all customers.
Use staff-facilitated seating where appropriate. If seating is not staff facilitated and tables cannot be moved to meet the physical distancing requirements outlined above, tables that should not be used must be clearly marked as out of service.
Allow no more than 10 people at a table, unless they are a family from the same household.
Use single-use disposable menus (e.g., paper) and discard after each customer, or utilize a written posting such as a chalkboard or whiteboard to relay menu information.
Use technology solutions where possible to reduce person-to-person interaction, including mobile ordering; text or phone app technology to alert customers when their table is ready to avoid use of “buzzers;” and contactless payment options.
Install physical barriers, such as sneeze guards and partitions at point of sale terminals, cash registers, bars, host stands, and other areas where maintaining physical distance of six feet is difficult.
Consider methods to make point of sale terminals safer, including use of no contact applications, placement of a glass or clear plastic barrier between the employee and the customer, and providing a hand sanitizer station for customer and employee use after handling credit/debit cards, PIN terminals, or exchange of cash.
Consider installing touchless door and sink systems or providing single-use barriers (e.g., deli tissues, paper towels) for use when touching door and sink handles.
Schedule closure periods throughout the day to allow for cleaning and disinfecting, including bathrooms (i.e., after lunch service).
Servers should avoid touching items on tables while customers are seated to the extent possible. Dedicated staff should remove all items from the table when customers leave.
Use separate doors to enter and exit the establishment when possible.
When protective equipment such as face coverings are used, launder daily and wash hands after touching/adjusting face covering while working.
All businesses and employees in the restaurant and retail food service industry authorized to conduct inperson activities in Yellow phase counties pursuant to this guidance are prohibited from doing the following:
Using self-service food or drink options, such as buffets, salad bars, and condiments.
Condiments must be removed from tables and dispensed by employees upon the request of a customer.
Using reusable menus, other than digital menus sanitized after each use.
Refilling food and beverage containers or implements brought in by customers.
This guidance does not authorize any specific external area near or adjacent to a business in the restaurant industry for outdoor dining. Businesses must obtain any permits or other authorization, as required, to serve food and beverages outside of physical indoor service areas.
Child care services will be able to reopen during the “yellow phase,” and the state said stimulus funding will help those facilities buy supplies to protect staff and children.
County child welfare agencies are still expected to respond child abuse and neglect allegations, including face-to-face visits. When children in foster care move into a new home, all safety measures must be taken.
Long-term care facilities still are advised to halt visitation, and are required to use technology like video conferencing to help residents and loved ones stay connected.
The allowance of in-person community services will be determined on a case-by-case basis, and services should be offered remotely as much as possible. Any in-person activities should be limited to three participants, and screening protocols must be in place for staff, clients and visitors of residential homes.
Mental health providers also are advised to continue using telehealth, and anyone who requires in-person services are advised to wear a mask.
Employers and training providers also are advised to continue offering electronic referrals and enrollments, as well as remote activities. Any meeting requiring in-person interaction must be limited to one-on-one meetings and last no longer than two hours. Masks and social distancing measures also are required.