COVID-19 Restaurant Guidelines — Minneapolis, Minnesota
According to top chefs, Minneapolis ranks as one of the top food cities in the world. Known for its tasty cheese curds and Juicy Lucys, Minneapolis boasts hundreds of restaurants at almost every street corner. Consequently, ever since the Coronavirus pandemic touched base in March, the restaurant business has been the most affected.
It’s only recently that the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development allowed the reopening of restaurants. However, this was not without stringent measures.
The protocol released provided guidelines on social distancing, face coverings, cleaning protocols, ventilation and pick-up and delivery practices.
Here is a detailed look at each area that the guidelines touched on:
1. Social Distancing
Workers and customers in restaurants must always be 6 feet apart. To reduce the number of employees present at a time, restaurants are also advised to stagger shifts and breaks. Restaurants are also encouraged to add partitions made of appropriate material between tables and booths to reduce contact during dining. Additionally, restaurants are only allowed to operate at 25% capacity with 250 as the maximum number of people.
2. Face Coverings and Face Masks
As of July 25th, 2020, it’s compulsory to wear a face mask or face covering in any public place. This includes indoor business premises and public indoor spaces such as restaurants. However, the executive order exempts people who can’t wear masks because of physiological issues or mental illness. Individuals who wear face coverings are only allowed to remove them when eating and drinking. Even then, a 6 feet social distance must still be maintained.
Restaurants must increase the flow of outdoor air by keeping all windows and doors open when in service. For restaurants with air ventilation systems, the filtration system should be upgraded to at least MERV-13 or higher.
4.Pick Up and Deliver Practices
Restaurant workers and delivery personnel must minimize the exchange of unnecessary items such as pens and scanners. Delivery personnel are also advised to avoid contact when delivering food to homes. It is advisable to drop the food package on the doorway and then verify payments while maintaining 6 feet distance.
Restaurants are also advised to encourage the use of electronic payment systems such as apps.
5. Cleaning Protocols
All restaurants must establish a detailed cleaning and sanitation schedule, including the cleaning personnel, equipment used and regularity. It is also advisable to provide menus that can be disposed of after use or disinfected.
The executive order also advised the cleaning of regularly touched surfaces like doorknobs and countertops every few minutes.
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