Reopening Restaurants and Taverns

Masked man behind the counter at a restaurant

Under Phase 2 of Washington's Safe Start Plan, businesses and activities must follow certain health and safety requirements. For the most up-to-date reopening requirements visit the Governor Inslee's COVID-19 Reopening Guidance for Businesses and Workers website. To support reopening your business we've created a reopening checklist for general health and safety measures your business can take to ensure staff and customer safety. Download or view the checklist below.

Customer Health and Safety

Hand sanitizer bottle

Provide hand sanitizer

Provide accessible hand sanitizer stations at all entrances to your establishment. 

Face of a person wearing a mask

Remind customers to wear face coverings

Ensure customers understand they should wear face coverings at all times unless  they are under two years old or have a medical reason that makes it unsafe for them to wear one.

Keeping a log of customers

Keep a voluntary customer log

Consider keeping a voluntary log of customers to help facilitate contract tracing. The log should include their name, phone number, and the date they visited the business.

Download customer log template

People maintaining 6ft distance

Maintain physical distance

Ensure customers can maintain six feet of physical distance. This is required for table service, food pickup, payment counters, and waiting areas that are inside and outside your establishment. 

Menus and condiments

Single-use menus and condiments

Use single-use menus or a menu board for take-out or outdoor dining. If condiments kept on tables for outdoor dining are not single use, they must be sanitized after each customer finishes their meal. 

Staff Health and Safety

People maintaining 6ft distance

Maintain physical distance

Ensure employees maintain six feet of physical distance. If that's not possible, stagger work schedules or create physical barriers between staff.

Hand washing

Frequently wash hands

Ensure frequent handwashing for including before and after going to the bathroom, before and after eating, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing their nose. Use single-use disposable gloves when handwashing is not possible. 

Sign that explains screening

Health screen employees

Conduct health screening for  employees for COVID-19 symptoms as soon as each employee shows up for work. If an employee does show symptoms, send them home immediately and deeply clean all areas/surfaces that employee touched.

One door open and one closed

Restrict entrances but stay accessible

Primary access to the business should be through the front door; restrict access to back doors or other entry points. If the accessible entrance is not through the front door, allow access through the accessible entrance.

Tissues and trashcan

Provide tissues, hand sanitizer, and trash cans

Place tissues, hand sanitizer, and trash cans throughout the workplace in places easily reached by people of all heights and abilities. Ensure trash cans do not block pathways of travel.  

Icons of gloves and mask

Provide Person Protective Equipment (PPE)

Provide employees free face coverings and disposable gloves.

Buy Face Coverings

A spray bottle and gloved hand cleaning up

Monitor health and safety

Assign a COVID-19 supervisor for each shift whose sole role is to oversee employee health and safety and ensure proper cleaning, hygiene, and screening protocols are followed.

Example of posted information about COVID-19

Post safety information

COVID-19 safety information, hygienic practices, and requirements should be visibly posted (including reminders to wash hands for 20 seconds, use hand sanitizer, and use single use gloves when other methods of hand cleaning are not available)

Person waits in car while other goes in

One person per vehicle

Two or more people should travel in separate vehicles.

Find more guidelines and resources

Get information about outdoor permits, financial resources, evictions, paid sick and safe time, and more resources that apply to all reopening businesses.

See all reopening resources