Restaurant Reopening Restrictions in Every State

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Virginia
> Mask mandate Yes
> Indoor seating capacity: 50%
> Maximum guests per table: 10

The state’s original mask mandate, which came into force in May and was updated in November, applied only to indoor public spaces. On Dec. 10., Gov. Ralph Northam issued an amended executive order, extending the requirement to outdoor spaces when individuals are “unable to maintain at least six feet of physical distance from other individuals who are not Family members.” One unusual feature of Virginia restaurant regulations is that parties are limited to a maximum of 10 people whether they’re seated at the same table or at multiple ones. Alcohol sales in Virginia restaurants must stop at 10 p.m. nightly, and restaurants must close by midnight.

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Washington
> Mask mandate Yes
> Indoor seating capacity: No indoor dining
> Maximum guests per table: Not applicable

Washington restaurants and bars are closed for indoor service until Jan. 4. Outdoor dining is permitted, with restrictions — including a limit of five people per table. The state’s mask mandate, which went into effect on June 26, requires anyone age 5 or older to wear a face covering in indoor public spaces and outdoors when proper social distancing isn’t possible. Restaurants and other businesses must deny entrance to anyone not wearing a mask. In general, the state’s coronavirus response website asks the citizenry to “commit to fewer, shorter, smaller social gatherings,” and adds that “Staying home is still safest.”

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Washington, D.C.
> Mask mandate Yes
> Indoor seating capacity: No indoor dining
> Maximum guests per table: Not applicable

According to an executive order issued by Mayor Muriel Bowser on July 22, face coverings are mandated whenever people “are likely to come into contact with another person” outside their own home. The rule applies to anyone over the age of 2 and requires that businesses, including restaurants, bar the maskless from entering. A Mayor’s Order dated Dec. 18 closed restaurants to indoor dining from Dec. 23 through Jan. 15. Outdoor dining and takeout and delivery may continue. The same order repeals capacity limits for retail food stores, providing that social distancing can be maintained.

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West Virginia
> Mask mandate Yes
> Indoor seating capacity: 50%
> Maximum guests per table: Not specified

West Virginia’s initial mask mandate, issued in early July, required the wearing of face coverings in public but allowed people to remove them indoors if social distancing was possible. Gov. Jim Justice issued on Nov. 14 an update to the order that did away with that provision. Anyone aged 9 or older is now required to wear a mask at all times in indoor public spaces. The restaurant section of the state’s guide to reopening, dubbed “West Virginia Strong — The Comeback,” strongly encourages the use of disposable utensils and containers and of disposable or no-touch menus, as well as the serving of drinks in cans and bottles where possible and the prioritization of takeout and curbside pickup services.

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Wisconsin
> Mask mandate Yes
> Indoor seating capacity: Not specified
> Maximum guests per table: 6

The emergency order issued by Gov. Tony Evers, which came into force on Aug. 1, requires anyone 5 years old and up to wear a mask in all indoor public spaces including in outdoor restaurant areas if there is someone from another household in the vicinity. The order applies until at least Jan. 19. Though the state doesn’t set a maximum indoor occupancy limit, it requires that capacity be reduced to allow for adequate social distancing. State regulations note that outdoor smoking patios should be closed or limited to one person at a time.