NC Releases Phase 2 Reopening Guidelines for Restaurants

by Think Currituck, on 5/21/20 12:18 PM


Order up: Here's what North Carolina food service establishments need to do to safely welcome back customers

North Carolina restaurants are looking forward to opening their doors again... even it only means half-full dining rooms. 

As the state enters Phase 2 of Governor Cooper's reopening plan, the NC Department of Health and Human Services has released its Interim Guidance  for Restaurants. 

The 5-page document includes a mix of requirements and recommendations.

Social distancing REQUIREMENTS:

  • Ensure social distancing by arranging tables and seating to achieve at least 6-foot separation between parties for indoor and outdoor dining.
  • Permit no more than 50% of maximum occupancy as stated in fire capacity. Restaurants may permit up to 12 people per 1,000 feet if there is not a fire code number available.
  • Post the reduced “Emergency Maximum Capacity” in conspicuous place.
  • Post signage reminding people about social distancing (staying at least 6 feet away from others).
  • Mark six (6) feet of spacing in lines at high-traffic areas for customers, such as any cash register or any place where customers wait to be seated

Cleaning and hygiene REQUIREMENTS:

  • Perform ongoing and routine environmental cleaning and disinfection of high-touch areas (e.g., doors, doorknobs, rails) with an EPA approved disinfectant for SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), and increasing disinfection during peak times or high customer density times and all shared objects (e.g., payment terminals, tables, countertops/bars, receipt trays, condiment holders) between use.
  • Disinfect dining tables and booths, including condiment containers and reusable menus, between each use, allowing the disinfectant to sit for the necessary contact time recommended by the manufacturer.


  • Conduct daily symptom screening of employees at entrance with immediately sending symptomatic workers home to isolate.
  • Post signage at the main entrance requesting that people who have been symptomatic with fever and/or cough not enter.
  • Employees who have symptoms when they arrive at work or become sick during the day should immediately be separated from other employees, customers, and visitors and sent home.

Interim Rest Guidance CTA

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