Island restaurants set to reopen dining rooms on Monday. What should you expect? Get your mask on!

While it seems things are slowly getting back to normal, expect things to be very different when visiting your favorite island establishment.

Planning a get-together lunch outing? Only your closest of friends may join you as there is a limit of four persons per table whether indoors or outdoors. Exception? Up to 6 if all members are from the same household.

Masks? Before, mandated when entering essential businesses. Now? You must wear them everywhere you go… restaurants, retail shops, offices, beauty salons, etc. This is both, for employees and customers.

You may take the mask off at a restaurant once seated and are ready to eat, but must be worn getting to your table and once finished eating, you have to put it back on before you leave the table.

Social distancing? They are at the heart of the county’s Moving to a New Normal reopening plan.

While a lot of attention has been paid to the 50% dining room seating capacity, that is not the main restriction on how many people can eat-in a dining room. The 6’ social distancing is. As per the County’s regulations:

“Any indoor restaurant operation must be limited by the Governor's Executive Order but no more than 50 percent of its building occupancy with the maintenance of social distancing of 6 feet between parties.” Any outdoor seating must maintain similar distancing.”

Additionally, restaurants must create visible floor markings for appropriate 6-foot distancing and tables need to be set where the back of one chair to the back of another chair shall be at least six feet apart.

Other things you should look for before heading out today for a dine-in experience:

- Hands-free sanitizer must be available at the entrance.

- Doors must be disinfected and wiped down every 30 minutes

- Guests shall face each other from a distance of at least three feet in the table, unless from same household

- No self-service of any kind including drink fountains, buffets or salad bars

- Any employee approaching tables must wear masks.

- All menus must be disposable and single-use

- If silverware is not disposable, only roll-ups allowed. No open cutlery or water/wine glasses permitted as table presets.

- All condiments must be single-use.

- Hand sanitizing wipes or alternate form of hand-washing method must be provided at each table

- Restrooms must be maintained as single-use only (with exceptions for special needs guests).

- Guests must maintain social distancing as exiting the restaurant.

- The restaurant must wipe down door handles after each guests exit.

For the entire Miami-Dade County New Normal guidelines for restaurants, click here.

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