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Here’s What Dining At Restaurants Will Look Like In Chicago

By Colby Smith

Here’s What Dining At Restaurants Will Look Like In Chicago

The city recently released a 13-page guide book on cautiously reopening in Phase 3.

Days after Lightfoot announced that the city would not be moving into Phase 3 of the governor’s Restore Illinois plan on May 29, the City of Chicago released a guidebook demonstrating the conditions of cautiously reopening restaurants.

Last week, Governor JB Pritzker announced that all regions in Illinois were on track to move forward into Phase 3 of reopening on May 29. Furthermore, the governor gave his permission for regions to reopen restaurants and bars for outdoor seating on May 29 — a phase ahead of schedule.

In regards to the reopening of bars and restaurants for outdoor seating, the governor listed a number of requirements:

“Dine-in options for bars and restaurants will be available for outdoor seating only while in accordance with social distancing measures, including a 6-feet separation of tables with employees and customer wearing masks. ”

His plan gave local municipalities the authority to opt out of this decision under their discretion — which Mayor Lori Lightfoot did, citing that Chicago wasn’t ready. In this moment, Lightfoot plans to reopen the city to certain amenities by early June.

As Chicago cautiously reopens, the city has published a handy guidebook on how restaurants and restaurant patrons are recommended to conduct themselves so as to maximize social distancing and minimize the spread of the virus.

Broadly, the book covers healthy interactions, safe spaces and conditions, as well as operational resilience and monitoring.

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The guide book answers one question we’ve all been asking ourselves: what will be different about dining at restaurants?

  1. Contactless pickup and payment
  2. Open outdoor dining
  3. Visual keys posted throughout businesses reminding patrons on keeping the environment safe and clean
  4. Requirement of masks for employees and customers (when not seated)
  5. Highly encouraged social distancing of at least 6 feet
  6. Frequent disinfectant application of employees

The guidebook touches on a number of pertinent topics, including: social distancing, gathering size, protective gear, hygiene requirements, entry access, cleaning standards, visual guidance, workplace conditions, flexible models, operational resiliency, travel guidelines, and testing/tracking.

Notable recommendations include:

  • Plexiglass barriers between counters, registers, and tables that can’t be distanced up to 6 ft.
  • Less than 6 persons to a table; less than 10 per gathering
  • Customers can remove masks only once seated at a table
  • Dishwashers must have access to face shields or similar to protect from contaminant splash
  • Hand-washing training provided for employees, as well as training on handling and delivering food
  • Employees encouraged to self test before going to work with questionnaire
  • Businesses must receive some sort of confirmation from customers entering establishment that they do have nor are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19
  • Entry prohibited to anyone exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19
  • Increased cleaning and sanitization of restaurant prior to opening and during service
  • Provided disposable table items such as menus, condiments, and containers
  • Self-serve food and drink stations prohibited
  • Visual cues guiding social distancing
  • “Eliminate counter/bar seating, unless primary purpose is serving food, (e.g. sushi bars, diner counters)”
  • Employees displaying symptoms of COVID-19 should self-quarantine in accordance to CDC guidelines

See more: Pritzker to legalize the sale of to-go cocktails.