Many people like dining out for the experience (whether it’s for a get together with friends or family, a date night, a celebration, or just wanting a night off from cooking and dishes). And during this time of COVID, many of us want to support our local economies by eating at our favorite local food businesses. While the CDC still urges us to consider drive thru, delivery, or curbside take out, you don’t have to rule out restaurant dining altogether as long you’re comfortable taking on the risk. Just consider a few things to keep yourself, fellow patrons, and the restaurant employees safe:
- The three main preventative measures that we’ve been hearing for months still apply: 6 feet physical distancing, wearing a mask, and proper hand washing
- Wear your mask for the majority of the time, including when speaking with others at your table and placing your order. Eating and drink should be the only times you remove it.
- Wash your hands before handling your mask. To keep your mask clean, store it in a brown bag or resealable plastic bag.
- Sit outdoors if possible to benefit from natural ventilation.
- Make a reservation. This lets the restaurant know how many people to expect at different times, and can also make it easier for contact tracing should the restaurant need to let you know about an exposure.
- Limit how many people are in your party. Tables won’t put more than 10 seats at a table. Hold off on larger celebrations and gatherings until it is safe to do so.
If you find this to be too much of a hassle, or you don’t want chance it, you are probably better off staying in the comfort of your home where you don’t need a mask. Ordering the food and then picking it up or having it delivered is the least risky option. Eating outdoors at a restaurant is a little more riskier, and eating indoors carries the most risk.