Restaurant Guidance during Green Phase

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As many residents know, Delaware County transitioned to the Green Phase of the Governor’s Phased Reopening Plan on June 26. The past few months presented many new restrictions and changed operations for many businesses. These restrictions were developed to reduce the incidence of COVID-19 in our county and help us get to where we are today. Many Delco businesses are working to comply with these measures to ensure healthy and safe operations. Thank you for your cooperation during these past few months and your continued diligence, especially as other regions begin to see a resurgence of COVID-19.

During the Green Phase, all retail food facilities, including bars, are permitted to provide dine-in service in both indoor and outdoor seating areas, as well as continue providing take-out and delivery service. The requirements listed below must be met for all facilities providing in-person operations. Additionally, facility occupancy continues to be limited to no more than 50%, and discrete gatherings within the facility are limited to 250 individuals.

Green Phase of PA’s Reopening Plan – Requirements for Retail Food Facilities

Bar Service:

Bar seating is permitted as long as customers are seated and comply with physical distancing guideline of at least six feet or physical barriers between customers.

Standing in bar areas is not permitted.

A maximum of four customers that have a common relationship may sit together at the bar, while adhering to the physical distancing guidelines or barriers between other customers.

Wearing Masks:

All customers must wear masks while entering, exiting, or traveling throughout the retail food facility. Masks may be removed while seated.

Individuals who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition are not required to wear masks and are not required to provide documentation of such medical condition.

Provide masks for employees to wear at all times and make it mandatory to wear masks while at the restaurant or retail food service business. An employee does not need to wear a mask if it impedes their vision, if they have a medical condition, or if it would create an unsafe condition in which to operate equipment or execute a task.

Customer Spacing & Occupancy:

Provide at least six feet between parties at tables, (i.e., the six feet cannot include the space taken up by the seated guest) or physical barriers between customers where booths are arranged back to back. If tables or other seating are not movable, seat parties at least six feet apart.

Spacing must also allow for physical distancing from areas outside of the facility’s control (i.e. such that pedestrians on a sidewalk can pass with at least six feet of distance to customer).

Ensure maximum occupancy limits for indoor and outdoor areas are posted and strictly enforced. Maximum occupancy, to include all customers and employees at the facility, is calculated using the following two methods. The more restrictive number must be used.

           Method 1: Limit to 50% of stated fire code maximum occupancy or 24 people per 1,000 square feet if there is no applicable fire code maximum occupancy. When no fire code number is available for outdoor dining, the 24 people per 1,000 square feet number should be applied.

           Method 2: Arrange the restaurant or retail food service business so that customers sitting at a table are not within six feet of any customers sitting at another table in any direction and calculate the maximum number of customers that can be accommodated.

In addition to maximum occupancy limits, limits apply to discrete gatherings and events which may be held within the restaurant, facility, or venue, such as weddings, and catered events. Specifically, restaurants, facilities and venues must limit the total number of individuals gathering at one time (including staff) for any discrete gathering or event within the facility to no more than 250 individuals.

Don’t use shared tables among multiple parties unless the seats can be arranged to maintain six feet of distance between parties.

Employee Practices & Spacing:

Assign employee(s) to monitor and clean high touch areas frequently while in operation including entrance doors, bathroom surfaces, host stands etc., and continue to regularly clean all other areas of the restaurant or retail food service businesses. Clean and disinfect any shared items with which customers will come in contact such as tabletops, digital menus, check presenters, and digital payment devices after each customer use.

Implement procedures to increase cleaning and sanitizing frequency in the back of house. Avoid all food contact surfaces when using disinfectants


Provide physical guides, such as tape on floors or sidewalks and signage on walls to ensure that customers remain at least six feet apart in lines or waiting for seating or in line for the restroom. Encourage customers ordering take-out to wait in their vehicles after ordering.

Where possible, stagger workstations to avoid employees standing adjacent or next to each other. Where six feet of separation is not possible, consider spacing options that include other mitigation efforts with increased frequency of cleaning and sanitizing surfaces.

Establish a limit for the number of employees in shared spaces, including break rooms, and offices to maintain at least a six-foot distance.

COVID-19 Exposures:

Plan for and execute measures if facilities are exposed to a person who tests positive for COVID-19, as outlined in the April 15, 2020 Order of the Secretary of Health for Worker Safety Measures. The Delaware County department of Intercommunity Health in conjunction with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture have been contacting local municipal health offices where retail food establishments who have staff who were reported as testing positive for COVID-19 to ensure facilities are aware of the exposure and inform facilities of required measures. Please contact Chester County Health Department at 610-324-6225 if your facility becomes aware of an exposure to a person who tested positive for COVID-19.

No Longer Prohibited:

Using self-service food or drink options, such as buffets, salad bars, and condiments is no longer prohibited.

Condiments provided on tables for customer use is no longer prohibited.

Using reusable menus is no longer prohibited.

Operating amenities and congregate areas such as child play areas, interactive games, and video arcades are no longer prohibited.

Refilling food and beverage containers or implement brought in by customers are no longer prohibited.

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Delaware County, presently consisting of over 184 square miles divided into forty-nine municipalities is the oldest settled section of Pennsylvania.

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