District News

Some Health and Safety Reminders for Restaurants/Customers

Oct 22, 2020
a worker inside of the Starbucks at 63rd St and Broadway wipes down a counter top for patrons with disinfectant

On Tuesday, October 20, the Mayor’s Office of Night Life (ONL) hosted a Town Call with representatives from many City agencies, including the Department of Buildings (DOB), the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), and more. The virtual call allowed businesses to ask questions about guidelines and regulations for Indoor Dining and updates to the Open Restaurants Program. We attended the call and wanted to highlight a few takeaways in regards to health and safety that are important to remember.

  • Please make sure you wear a mask while inside of restaurants for indoor dining if you are not seated at a table to dine. The City also recommends, for extra caution, that you wear a mask whenever you’re seated, but not eating or drinking, such as when you’re ordering or waiting for food to arrive.
  • Restaurants must temperature check everyone who comes inside if indoor dining is taking place. This means that if you are allowing customers to dine indoors at your business, even those who come inside to use the restroom while dining outside or who come inside to pick up an order to-go must be temperature checked.
  • In regards to indoor dining, customer logs for temperature checks and contact info must be kept for 28 days for potential use for contact tracing. However, the City recommends you keep them for as long as you can since requirements may change according to the State.
  • Be sure that for outdoor seating as the weather cools, that 50% of your tents or covered structures remain open for air circulation.

  • Since DOT’s Open Restaurant’s program will now continue through the winter months, the City will develop additional safety features for inclement weather. Significant snow events may necessitate the temporary removal of some structures from the roadway and restaurants should sign up for the Weather Advisory Subscription and look out for updated guidelines with this in mind.

These are just a few important points to note about indoor and outdoor dining regulations. Visit the NYC Business Restaurant Reopening Guide page for more in-depth details about restaurant reopening guidelines. Businesses should stay up to date with requirements through the New York Forward website and other materials from City agencies. Click here to read our post about indoor dining resources and utilize the SBS for questions related to reopening: 888-SBS-4NYC (888-727-4692). Click here for our COVID-19 Updates resource page.

Photo credit: Elena Olivo