Restaurants and Bars

Phase 2 retains many of the Phase 1 distancing and hygiene requirements but allows increased capacity above the Phase 1 limit as long as physical distancing is maintained. – Effective Monday, June 15, 2020

Phase II Guidelines

RESTAURANTS

  • Dine-in service may continue; seating may now increase to up to 66% of total seating capacity. This includes indoor and outdoor dining areas.

  • Seating shall be adjusted to maintain six (6) feet between occupied seats at adjacent tables.

The following requirements have not changed from Phase 1:

  • Reservations should be encouraged when practical. If reservations are not made, physical distancing must be maintained when customers are waiting to be seated.
  • All staff who come in contact with patrons must wear a face mask that completely covers their nose and mouth. Staff in the back are encouraged to wear a face mask.
  • Gloves used during food preparation should be worn in accordance with the Rules Pertaining to Retail Food Establishments. Glove use by waitstaff and others who do not directly contact food with their hands is optional.
  • Patrons must wear a face covering while in the establishment when physical distancing of six feet cannot be ensured. This is most likely in entry or waiting areas, while walking to their seat, visiting the restroom, etc. As before, face coverings may be removed when food or drink arrives.
  • All staff shall be screened daily before entering the facility. Any employee with a cough, sore throat, fever, or shortness of breath shall be immediately excluded from the facility.
  • Signage must be placed at the front of restaurants to alert patrons not to enter the facility if they are sick or have symptoms such as cough, sore throat, fever, or shortness of breath.
  • Monitoring of frequent handwashing and no bare-hand contact of ready-toeat foods by staff.
  • Encourage customers to pre-order meals to reduce time spent in the facility. This includes for takeout services.
  • Groups shall be limited, not to exceed 10 people.
  • Self-service operations, including, but not limited to, salad bars, buffets and condiment bars shall remain closed for patron access. Beverage fountains that are capable of dispensing product without customer hand contact with a button, handle, or switch may remain operational.
  • Facilities with any employee testing positive shall report the positive result to the Arkansas Department of Health immediately.
  • Following each meal service, the tables, chairs, menus and any other frequently contacted surfaces including, but not limited to, condiment containers, napkin holders and salt/pepper shakers shall be cleaned and disinfected prior to seating the next customer.
    • Products with an EPA-approved emerging viral pathogen claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for these products. (Non-food contact surfaces may be sanitized with 1/2 cup of regular, unscented bleach per gallon of water followed by a 5-minute contact time.)
  • Food contact surfaces shall be sanitized in accordance with §4-501.114 of the Rules Pertaining to Retail Food Establishments.
  • Single-Use items including, but not limited to, disposable silverware, cups, lids and straws shall be removed from public access and provided only upon request, unless the Single-Use items are adequately protected from contamination through the use of dispensing devices or packaging.
  • Bars housed within restaurants are now allowed to operate, effective May 19, 2020, so long as physical distancing of six feet between individuals is maintained.
  • Entertainment operations within restaurants (such as live music, in-seat gaming, or arcades) are permitted, effective May 19, 2020. Entertainment involving 3 performers, such as live music or singing, shall follow these requirements:
    • The performers or players must be separated from the audience by at least 12 feet and must be limited in number to fifty (50) or fewer.
    • Performers or players may be without a face covering if they are 12 feet from other persons, including other performers.
  • In-seat gaming, arcades, billiards and other games that patrons physically touch should be disinfected between each use.
  • Restrooms and other high-touch areas shall be disinfected frequently based on customer volume.
  • Service may be declined to patrons who are not wearing masks.

The above restrictions will be in place until the Secretary of Health determines epidemiological data are sufficient to proceed to Phase 3. The requirements for Phase 3 will supersede the above-mentioned requirements. Phase 3 will include returning to normal operations with full seating capacity.

Phase II Guidelines

Bars housed within restaurants are addressed in the updated directive on Resuming Restaurant Dine-In Operations.

BAR AND CLUB OPERATIONS

  • Service at bars resumed on May 26, 2020; seating may now increase to up to 66% of total seating capacity. This includes indoor and outdoor dining areas.
  • Seating shall be adjusted to maintain six (6) feet between occupied seats at adjacent tables.

The following requirements have not changed from Phase 1:

  • Seating at the bar shall maintain six feet of physical distancing between individuals.
  • Reservations should be encouraged when practical. If reservations are not made, physical distancing must be maintained when customers are waiting to be seated.
  • All staff who come in contact with patrons must wear a face covering or mask that completely covers their nose and mouth. Staff in the back are encouraged to wear a face covering or mask.
  • Gloves used during food preparation shall be worn in accordance with the Rules Pertaining to Retail Food Establishments. Glove use by waitstaff and others who do not directly contact food or beverages with their hands is optional.
  • Patrons must wear a face covering while in the establishment when physical distancing of six feet cannot be ensured. This is most likely in entry or waiting areas, while walking to a seat, visiting the restroom, etc. As before, face 2 coverings may be removed when food or drink arrives.
  • All staff shall be screened daily before entering the facility. Any employee with a cough, sore throat, fever, or shortness of breath shall be immediately excluded from the facility.
  • Signage must be placed at the front of restaurants to alert patrons not to enter the facility if they are sick or have symptoms such as cough, sore throat, fever, or shortness of breath.
  • Monitoring of frequent handwashing and no bare-hand contact of ready-toeat foods by staff.
  • Drinks shall be served to customers in individual glasses/containers. No shared containers of drinks, such as pitchers of beer or mixed drinks.
  • Groups at one table shall not exceed 10 people.
  • Self-service operations, including, but not limited to, bar snacks (pretzels, peanuts, etc.), buffets and condiment bars shall remain closed for patron access.
  • Facilities with any employee testing positive shall report the result to the Arkansas Department of Health immediately.
  • Following each drink or meal service, the tables, chairs, menus and any other frequently contacted surfaces, including, but not limited to, condiment containers, napkin holders and salt/pepper shakers, shall be cleaned and disinfected prior to seating the next customer.
    • Products with an EPA-approved emerging viral pathogen claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for these products. (Non-food contact surfaces may be sanitized with 1/2 cup of regular, unscented bleach per gallon of water followed by a 5-minute contact time.)
  • Food contact surfaces shall be sanitized in accordance with §4-501.114 of the Rules Pertaining to Retail Food Establishments.
  • Single-use items including, but not limited to, disposable silverware, condiment packets and straws shall be removed from public access and provided only upon request.
  • Entertainment operations within bars (such as live music or entertainment dancers, in-seat gaming, or arcades) are permitted, effective May 19, 2020. Entertainment involving performers, such as live musicians, singers or dancers, shall follow these requirements:
    • The performers or players must be separated from the audience by at least 12 feet.
    • Performers or players may be without a face covering if they are 12 feet from other persons, including other performers. Performers should wear a face covering while not performing.
  • Dancing by patrons is prohibited at this time.
  • In-seat gaming, arcades, billiards and other games that patrons physically touch should be disinfected between each use. Restrooms and other high-touch areas shall be disinfected frequently based 3 on customer volume.

The above restrictions will be in place until the Secretary of Health determines epidemiological data are sufficient to proceed to Phase 3. The requirements for Phase 3 will supersede the above-mentioned requirements. Phase 3 will include returning to normal operations with full seating capacity.