With the pandemic not seeming to stop anytime soon, many places reopened their services after being closed for months. What’s different is how they have newer levels of safety and hygiene standards to maintain as part of government regulation. Although few regions picked up their paces quite quickly, states like Maharashtra resumed their delivery services in the month of July and took almost 3 months to resume the dine-in services in the restaurants.
The implemented rules and guidelines that are to be followed varies from place to place, according to the present case scenarios of each region. Here are some of the guidelines that need to be observed while dining in a restaurant during Covid-19.
Steps Taken By Restaurants To Ensure Safety
It is advised to all the employees to stay home in case they are not feeling well. They are strongly encouraged to visit a doctor and home-quarantine themselves until necessary, should they have either come in close contact with a Covid-19 positive person or been showing symptoms.
Habituate frequently hand washing before and after preparing the food. It is also necessary to wash their hands right after touching the trash can. Restaurant employees are also advised to practice washing their hands each time for at least 20 seconds.
Wearing of gloves is recommended only while moving trash bags and garbage. The bio hazardous materials like their gloves or tissues that they have used after sneezing, should be disposed of properly. They are required to wash their hands immediately and sanitize using an alcohol based sanitizer with 60% alcohol content.
Face masks are required to be worn by all the staff members at all times, since it is not always possible to keep enough distance between each other.
The restaurant’s layout needs to be modified complying to the 6 feet social distancing norms in order to provide their dine-in services. There needs to be a limit in seating capacity to further ensure safety.
If possible, the restaurants should offer outdoor seatings and dining systems with open air for ventilation purposes.
Discourage the behaviour of crowding in waiting areas to pick up food. Instead, ask the customers to pick up their food by waiting inside their cars or far away from the building.
For the time being, avoid any systems like buffet, self-serving or drink stations. This maximizes gathering at one place and multiplies physical contacts through surfaces like ladles, plates etc.
Guide For Customers To Adhere
As of now, there is no evidence regarding the spread of Covid-19 through food or beverages. It is safe to say that one can enjoy a proper meal at a restaurant by following the required protocols. Both, the staff of the place and the consumers need to adhere to necessary regulations that promote a proper hygienic atmosphere for everyone.
No matter how luxurious the place is or how tasty the food may be, any restaurants not complying with proper protocols are best avoided at the given situation. Check the place’s portal online for the guidelines they are following before you decide where to go.
Consider takeouts or delivery services, if possible. Do not flock in the waiting areas to pick your food.
Dispose the containers and transfer the food after delivery. Again, wash your hands before eating.
If you choose to dine-in at a restaurant, then opt for restaurants that are taking reservations. Do make a reservation. Reservations implies that the number of people at the place are going to be calculated and limited. Also, it means you do not have to wait or be denied entry if the place has reached its capacity.
While dining in, avoid unnecessary movements from your seat. Keep your face masks in case you are in close contacts with someone other than you live.
Wash and sanitize your hands before entering and exiting the establishment. Remember to properly wash your hands before digging into your food.
Avoid using your hands to touch public surfaces like the table, door knobs of washrooms, washing basin etc. Instead you can practice the use of your foot or elbow, if required.
Prioritize the seating especially when it comes to outdoors or in the open areas. If you have to sit indoors, do not choose a seat that is close to any exits, entries, washrooms, hallways or waiting areas.
Make payments using cards or online to minimize the physical contact as much as possible.
Finally, be patient. This is all new for all of us, including the staff members. There might be delay in services and a bit confusion here and there. Remember that we are all trying hard to cope with the current circumstance and making adjustments accordingly.