Join Riverfront Times Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Five New COVID-19 Rules for STL County Indoor Dining

Posted By on Wed, Dec 30, 2020 at 11:36 AM

Indoor dining is coming back to St. Louis County. - MABEL SUEN
  • MABEL SUEN
  • Indoor dining is coming back to St. Louis County.

With the rate of new COVID-19 cases falling in St. Louis County, indoor dining at bars and restaurants will resume January 4 — though they'll do so under a set of new restrictions.

In a press conference Thursday, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said "the pandemic has been harder on the restaurant industry than on most," and added, "it's on all of us who value a dynamic restaurant scene in St. Louis County to support those local businesses as they weather the COVID storms."



That storm overwhelmed St. Louis County in November, when average daily cases exceeded 800. The surge prompted county health officials to ban indoor dining under a set of "Safer at Home" rules, though those restrictions are now being lifted. On Wednesday, the county's department of public health reported that average daily cases had fallen to 390.

However, the return to indoor dining comes with several new rules, including a requirement for businesses to assist in contact-tracing efforts by retaining the names and contact info of their patrons — a reflection of the infection risk that persists for indoor dining, even in spaces large enough for social distancing.

Page detailed five rules for businesses opening their doors to indoor dining next week:

  1. Occupancy will be limited to 25 percent of the businesses' fire code capacity as long as the diners are able to be seated at tables six feet apart. Banquet facilities are limited to 25 percent capacity with a maximum occupancy of 50 people.
  2. All kitchen and serving staff must wear face masks. Customers must be masked unless seated at their tables and consuming food or drink.
  3. Restaurants and bars are required to close by 10 pm.
  4. Some bars will be required to install plastic or plexiglass partitions.
  5. To aid in contact-tracing "if that proves necessary," Page said restaurants will be required to record the names of patrons. However, the rule requires only that patrons provide one contact information per party. According to additional details released today on the county's COVID hub, contact information is defined as "first and last name and telephone number or valid email address."

Along with the new indoor dining COVID-19 restrictions going into effect on January 4, the county's Department of Public Health also released a set of PSAs encouraging safe New Year's behavior featuring the owners of Olive + Oak, Herbie's, and Cobalt Smoke & Sea.


Editor's note: This story was updated to include additional details from the county's new "Food Establishment and Bar Operating Guidelines" released after Sam Page's press conference Wednesday.

Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at Danny.Wicentowski@RiverfrontTimes.com
  • Sign up for our weekly newsletters to get the latest on the news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.
  • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 13, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation