Bars and restaurants in Ohio will be permitted to reopen this month in two phases, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced on Thursday.
The governor shut down bars and restaurants March 15 but said on Thursday that they will finally be able to reopen in a two-phase approach, beginning next week.
On Friday, May 15, both will be allowed to offer outdoor service, and the following week — Thursday, May 21 — restaurants and bars will be allowed to begin indoor dine-in services.
The Ohio Department of Health released a list of rules those businesses must abide by in order to operate.
Parties are limited to groups of ten, and groups must maintain a distance of six feet from other patrons. Businesses are also required to post a list of coronavirus symptoms “in a conspicuous place” and ask customers “not to enter if symptomatic.” Restaurants and bars are also asked to “provide access to hand washing methods while in the food service establishment, and if possible, place approved hand washing/sanitizing products in high-contact areas.”
“Clean and sanitize tabletops, chairs, and menus between seatings. Clean all high touch areas every two hours, and more frequently as needed,” the guidelines add.
The state’s health department also recommends that individuals wear face coverings and suggests that businesses “encourage customers to make dine-in reservations or use drive through, pick-up, call-in, curbside or delivery options.”
DeWine also said hair salons, barbershops, and nail salons will be allowed to reopen May 15, albeit with certain guidelines including proper social distancing in compliance with the CDC’s recommendations. Employees are also asked to perform a “daily symptom assessment” and wash their hands regularly.
“For the last week or so, we’ve talked about how we need to do two things at once: bring back the economy and stay safe. We are Ohioans. We can do it. How we open up is so very, very important,” DeWine said.
“The how is an essential part of how successful we’re going to be,” he added.
Ohio had 22,131 positive coronavirus cases and 1,271 related deaths as of Thursday afternoon.