Special Report

Restaurant Reopening Restrictions in Every State

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Massachusetts
> Mask mandate Yes
> Indoor seating capacity: 25%
> Maximum guests per table: 10

Due to a spike in coronavirus cases in the state, Gov. Charlie Baker issued an order on Dec. 26 drastically reducing allowable seating capacity from 100% to 25%, both indoors and outdoors. An earlier order, issued on Nov. 6, mandated face coverings in public spaces, indoors or outdoors, for anyone over the age of 5, even when maintaining a 6-foot distance is possible. The same order requires restaurants to close their premises to the public at 9:30 p.m. nightly. The state also sets a time limit of 90 minutes for the consumption of meals.

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Michigan
> Mask mandate Yes
> Indoor seating capacity: No indoor dining
> Maximum guests per table: Not applicable

On Oct. 2, the Michigan Supreme Court invalidated most of the executive orders regarding the COVID-19 crisis that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued after April 30, holding that such mandates require legislative approval. Mask orders were among the initiatives affected. Following the court decision, state and local health authorities began issuing their own mandates regarding masks and social distancing protocols, and face coverings are now required for those 5 years and older in most public spaces. Faced with a surge in coronavirus cases this fall, the state temporarily banned all indoor dining as of Nov. 18.

Minnesota
> Mask mandate Yes
> Indoor seating capacity: No indoor dining
> Maximum guests per table: Not applicable

On Dec. 16, Minnesota’s Gov. Tim Walz modified an earlier executive order, temporarily banning all indoor food and drink service in restaurants, bars, and other venues. Unlike in most other states, the terms of the new order also set a maximum for outdoor dining — four diners per table in this case. As an acknowledgement of the state’s wintertime climate, the order also states that “In the event of inclement weather, customers may move indoors to package food and pay bills, but must exit quickly.” The order adds, “Nothing in this Executive Order prohibits indoor sheltering in the event of severe weather.”

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Mississippi
> Mask mandate Yes (with exceptions)
> Indoor seating capacity: 75%
> Maximum guests per table: 10

Gov. Tate Reeves on Sept. 30 revoked a previously imposed statewide mask mandate, but on Oct. 19 he issued a new order requiring the wearing of masks in indoor public spaces in counties with high coronavirus case rates. As of late December, all but four of the state’s 82 counties had a mask requirement in effect until at least Jan. 15. The state encourages, but does not mandate, the use of technology, such as mobile reservation and ordering systems and contactless payment, to avoid as much in-person contact as possible.

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Missouri
> Mask mandate No (required in some municipalities)
> Indoor seating capacity: 100% (with some restrictions)
> Maximum guests per table: 10

While Gov. Mike Parson (who himself tested positive for the coronavirus in September) has made it clear that he has no intentions of instituting a statewide mask mandate, local municipalities have the option to establish their own mandates. The state’s two most populous cities, Kansas City and St. Louis, among others, have issued such mandates. Though the state’s guidelines for restaurants are less detailed than those issued by most other states, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services includes the advisory that “Operators need to be flexible about canceling or rescheduling reservations and events.”