Special Report

Restaurant Reopening Restrictions in Every State

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> Mask mandate Yes
> Indoor seating capacity: 0-50%
> Maximum guests per table: 10

Colorado classifies counties according to a six color-coded COVID-19 dial, reflecting each county’s COVID-19 outbreak. Green limits restaurants to 50% capacity or 500 people, whichever is fewer. Blue sets the limit at 50% or 175 people, yellow at 50% or 50 people, or “up to 100 people within their usable space” as calculated with a distancing tool supplied by the state. Orange (high risk) sets the limit at 25% or 50 people; red (severe risk) bans all indoor dining, though takeout, delivery, and distanced outdoor dining are allowed; and purple (extreme risk) allows only takeout and delivery.

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> Mask mandate Yes
> Indoor seating capacity: 50%
> Maximum guests per table: 8

Connecticut was in Phase 3 of its reopening, with restaurants operating at 75% capacity for indoor dining until early November, when Gov. Ned Lamont rolled the state back to what he calls Phase 2.1. This new phase lowers capacity at restaurants to 50% and sets a new restriction of maximum number of diners per table. Connecticut also asks that restaurants consider establishing separate entrances and exits so that one-way foot traffic is possible. Nonessential amenities like playgrounds, dance floors, and pool tables must be closed or removed.

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> Mask mandate Yes
> Indoor seating capacity: 30%
> Maximum guests per table: 4 adults, 6 diner total

According to the latest revision of Delaware’s state of emergency declaration, issued on Nov. 20, restaurants are required to close for indoor or outdoor dining at 10 p.m. nightly (takeout may continue beyond that time). Also, according to the revision, establishments “must place a sign on each table stating that only customers from the same household may share a table.” Restaurants are required to give diners the option to leave their information on file in case any staff members or other customers test positive, but staff is not required to deny service to those who don’t provide their details.

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> Mask mandate No (required in some municipalities, but violations not enforced)
> Indoor seating capacity: 50-100%
> Maximum guests per table: 10

According to an executive order issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis on Sept. 25, if a restaurant chooses to limit capacity to less than 100%, it must quantify the economic impact of the limitation and explain why it is necessary for public health — and in no case may capacity be set at less than 50%. The order also forbids the collection of fines or penalties “associated with COVID-19 enforced upon individuals.” In November, DeSantis extended the September order.

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> Mask mandate No (required in some municipalities)
> Indoor seating capacity: 100% (with some restrictions)
> Maximum guests per table: Not specified

Georgia was one of the first states to reopen businesses after the advent of the pandemic. Initially, Gov. Brian Kemp wanted to outlaw local mask mandates, but in August, he issued an executive order permitting them under circumstances relating to the number of COVID-19 cases. Atlanta and neighboring Decatur are among the cities where masks are required, though restaurateurs have the option of ignoring the mandate. Though according to the official state website, “All Georgia residents and visitors are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings while outside their home or place of residence, except when eating, drinking, or exercising outdoors.”

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