New regulations for restaurants, bars and clubs
With Executive Order 20-244 issued by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis regarding statewide business opening rules, and Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez's Amendment No. 1 to Emergency Order 30-20 signed on Wednesday, Sept. 26, new guidelines have been set for restaurants, clubs and bars.
Miami-Dade County's 50 percent capacity limits for restaurants will remain in place as a minimum, with the expansion of more than 50 percent capacity allowed for restaurants and other venues that can accommodate more tables while also keeping a six-foot separation between tables.
Restaurants can reach 100 percent capacity by including outdoor table service where practicable. The maximum seating per table indoors or outside continues - no more than six people per table or up to 10 from the same household.
For restaurants and bars that do not have sufficient floor space for tables to reach the 50 percent capacity minimum, they will be allowed to set tables closer together to reach the 50 percent minimum.
Bars with only counter service will be allowed to reach 50 percent capacity with seating that is separated at the bar as far as possible between parties being served to reach a minimum of 50 percent capacity.
Clubs that include dancing must require that masks be worn on the dance floor. Eating and drinking will be allowed only at tables.
Phase 1 of allowing the reopening of certain businesses began on May 18, 2020. If a particular commercial establishment supports multiple business lines, only those permitted to operate may be opened in any particular phase. Points in bold MUST be followed; other recommendations are strongly suggested. While designated businesses are permitted to open, they are not required to open.
As you prepare to reopen your establishment, please use the Restaurants General Checklist as a guide. All guidelines are categorized by workforce protection measures, employee protection measures, non-employee (or customer) protection measures, business process adaptations, employer-led public health interventions and industry-wide safeguards.
Dining establishments in Miami-Dade must follow these protocols to ensure a responsible opening and prioritizes the health, safety and well-being of both patrons and staff. It applies to any legally established indoor and/or outdoor dining use. It shall remain the responsibility of the restaurants to comply with all applicable laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Recommendations are in conformance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization, and the Florida Department of Health guidelines. Revisions may be recommended when advisable based on future health indicators.
For the most up to date changes, see the latest Emergency Orders and Amendments.
Send a question or a suggestion about the New Normal Guide to [email protected].
- Before re-opening, plumbing must be flushed to eliminate stagnant water from the period of closure (Read the CDC guidelines)
- Must change and/or upgrade restaurant HVAC filters as necessary to maximize fresh air (using the maximum filtration for the design of the ventilation system) and increase outdoor airflow rates where possible. Filters should be changed regularly
- Install high-efficiency air filters and HVAC systems.
- In addition to HEPA filtration, install Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) in small common areas that cannot be adequately ventilated.
- Must develop and implement plans as appropriate to address any parking garage or other facility access points leading to restaurant entrances (e.g., limiting capacity in elevators; sanitizing elevator touchpoints; cleaning stairway handrails; frequent cleaning or suspending the use of parking payment machines and alternatives for valet parking arrangements (valet must be avoided in the first phase*); etc.). These plans must be available for review and inspection
*Where parking is available, guests who arrive in their own cars will self-park. Valet will not be an option where onsite parking is available. Where parking is unavailable, valet may be utilized. Valet operator will step away six feet after opening car door (visual markers should be placed on the ground to assist). After parking, vehicle operator will switch or sanitize gloves prior to servicing the next vehicle.
- Must have self-dispensing hand sanitizer or handwashing station at the entrance to the restaurant
- Trash bins with lids that open without the need to touch the lids must be placed and available for use to staff and guests in all entrance areas
- Must put in place a disposal plan for safe handling and dispensing of used PPEs in restaurants and relevant exterior areas (e.g. use designated solid waste bags that are double-bagged and securely sealed)
- Health and safety signage/visual aids with messaging similar to the New Normal document (go to Appendices section) must be posted for customers and staff with easy visibility to all intended audiences. Signage should promote hand hygiene and physical distancing and request customers not to enter the restaurant if they are unwell or have COVID-19 symptoms; translate into all relevant languages
- All restaurants must create visible floor markings for appropriate six-foot distancing for each party in any waiting areas, whether exterior or interior
- Distinct areas must be created for customer waiting, order pickup/takeout and any third-party delivery services
- Must introduce plexiglass barriers at tills and counters as an additional level of protection for staff
- All playgrounds must remain closed until Emergency Orders are lifted