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NEW HEALTH GUIDELINES for Bars and Restaurants

March 15, 2020


All restaurants and community members have to be mindful as to how we are changing our operating culture to accommodate and enforce the new guidelines to ensure public health is the priority. It will require rethinking offerings and adjusting operations. We encourage you to think creatively about how your food offerings may look different.

Newly Issued Guidelines for DC Restaurants and Tavern License Holders
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, has just released new guidance that directly impacts the restaurant and hospitality industry. THIS IS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY.

  • Ensure that no more than 250 people are present in your space at the same time
  • Suspend use of bar seating
  • Suspend service to standing patrons
  • Limit individual table seating to 6 people or less
  • Ensure that tables (including booths) that are occupied by patrons are separated by at least 6 feet of distance. 
  • Venues licensed as nightclubs and multi-purpose facilities must suspend operations to comply with the Emergency Rulemaking to prohibit mass gatherings. 

Virginia Updates Gathering Updates
Early this afternoon, Governor Northam announced a statewide ban on public gatherings of more than 100 people and said he was “evaluating further steps.” Virginia has not mandated a quarantine but the state is strongly encouraging and urging people to avoid public gatherings of any kind.

We know we are all responsible stakeholders in this market and region, and now is the time to demonstrate that that commitment and responsibility is being incorporated into whatever needs to be done to reimagine operations during this time. It is critical that you stay strong and flexible. Restaurants act as a critical food source and we encourage you to think creatively about how your food offerings may look different in the coming weeks as social distancing is an important practice.

Creative Options for Proactively Amending Operations Beyond Requirements

  • Expand “to-go” dining with order ahead capabilities
  • Institute curbside pick up for “to-go” orders
  • Encourage food delivery

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We will share more updates as they become available.