Kentucky Sets Reopening Date for Restaurants and Initial Health and Safety Guidelines

Restaurants can reopen Friday, May 22 with 33 percent capacity and outdoor seating

click to enlarge Coppin's at Hotel Covington - Photo: Hailey Bolliger
Photo: Hailey Bolliger
Coppin's at Hotel Covington

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has issued some initial reopening requirements for restaurants under the state's Healthy at Work initiative. 

Kentucky restaurants will be allowed to reopen on May 22 at 33 percent capacity and with outdoor seating.

The full requirements can be read here, but some highlights include:

  • Restaurants must limit the number of customers present in any given restaurant to 33% of the maximum permitted occupancy of seating capacity, assuming all individuals in the restaurant are able to maintain six (6) feet of space between each other with that level of occupancy. 
  • Restaurants should consider installation of portable or permanent non-porous physical barriers (e.g., plexiglass shields) between tables.
  • If a restaurant has more customers wishing to enter their business than is possible under the current social distancing requirements of six (6) feet between all individuals, the restaurant should establish a system for limiting entry and tracking occupancy numbers.
  • Restaurants should consider a reservations-only business model or call-ahead seating to better space households and individuals.
  • Restaurants should ensure employees wear face masks for any interactions with customers, co-workers, or while in common travel areas of the business (e.g., aisles, hallways, loading docks, breakrooms, bathrooms, entries and exits).
  • Restaurants should use disposable menus, napkins, table cloths, disposable utensils, and condiments to the greatest extent practicable. Restaurants are encouraged to use electronic menus.
  • Restaurants must ensure cleaning and sanitation of frequently touched surfaces with appropriate disinfectants.  

Some Kentucky restaurants have already said they're ready to reopen, including Coppin's at Hotel Covington, which told us in a press release that they will resume operations on Friday, May 22.

“We’ve made a few adjustments to our uniquely tailored experience in order to safely welcome guests to back to enjoy all Hotel Covington has to offer,” said Jack Olshan, general manager, in the release. “In the first few weeks, we will operate with a smaller staff and reduced hours as we follow guidelines issued by the state. The health and safety of our patrons, staff and community is our number one priority.” 

Reservations will be required for Coppin’s and the restaurant is moving to both disposable menus and single-serve condiments. Staff members will have their temperatures taken throughout their shift and be wearing face masks. The restaurant will be open for Sunday brunch, and lunch and dinner on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The restaurant also emphasized that their outdoor courtyard will be open and is optimal for social distancing.


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