Washington, which had the nation’s first coronavirus outbreak, has allowed some activities to resume as part of the first phase of the state’s gradual reopening. Restaurants aren’t allowed to seat patrons until phase two, but Gov. Jay Inslee (D) is authorizing some small counties that haven’t reported any coronavirus cases for three weeks to reopen on an accelerated timeline. As of Monday, eight small counties, many of them located in rural eastern Washington, had entered phase two.
Restaurants in those communities that want to reopen will have to meet a series of guidelines laid out Monday by the governor’s office, including keeping their dining rooms at half capacity and ensuring that buffets and salad bars remain closed. All menus and condiments must be single-use, and customers are “strongly” encouraged to wear masks when not seated at their tables.
Restaurants offering table service also have to record the names of all customers that come in, along with their phone numbers and email addresses. Officials said Monday that the log should be kept for 30 days, and would be used for contact tracing if an outbreak occurs.