What’s allowed at restaurants and bars in RI, Mass.

Coronavirus

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — As the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to decline in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, both states are beginning to relax restrictions on restaurants and bars.

While both states require all customers to wear face masks inside businesses, their rules for restaurants and bars vary.

Here’s a look at what’s allowed in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts:

Rhode Island

Restaurants are allowed to operate provided the business adheres to the following protocols:

  • Dine-in service at restaurants must be limited to 90 minutes or less for each party.
  • All restaurants remain at 50% indoor capacity.
  • Parties of up to two households can be seated for indoor dining, while parties of up to three people can be seated outdoors.
  • Parties for both indoor and outdoor dining must not exceed eight people.
  • Restaurants are no longer required to close early.
  • All tables must be positioned in a way that they are at least 6 feet apart from one another.
  • Tables may be positioned closer to one another if there are barriers that between them. (ex. structural walls or plexi-glass dividers).

Bar seating is permitted provided the business adheres to the following protocols:

  • Bar areas must close by 11 p.m., even if the business remains open.
  • Bar seating is limited to 90 minutes or less per guest.
  • The distance between the bar and the staff’s active work area must be at least 6 feet away.
  • Guests must be seated at least 6 feet apart or 3 feet apart with a barrier between them (ex. plexi-glass dividers).
  • Parties seated at the bar must be limited to two households or less and can’t exceed four people.
  • Standing service, as well as the congregating or mingling of customers, is prohibited.

Massachusetts

Restaurants are allowed to operate provided the business adheres to the following protocols:

  • Dine-in service at restaurants must be limited to 90 minutes or less for each party.
  • There is no longer an indoor capacity limit, but all tables must be positioned in a way that they are at least 6 feet apart from one another and away from high foot traffic areas.
  • All parties must be limited to six people or less.
  • Tables may be positioned closer to one another if there are barriers that are at least 6 feet high between them (ex. structural walls or plexi-glass dividers).
  • Customers are encouraged to dine only with members of their household.
  • There are no longer capacity limits for outdoor dining, though the indoor dining capacity remains at 50%.

Bar seating is permitted provided the business adheres to the following protocols:

  • The distance between the bar and the staff’s active work area must be at least 6 feet away.
  • A barrier (ex. plexi-glass divider) that is at least 30 inches high must separate customers from the bar space with a gap at the bottom of no more than 8 inches high allowed for food and drink service.
  • Standing service is not allowed, and all guests must be seated at least 6 feet apart from one another.
  • Tables must not be placed within 6 feet of the staffed bartending area.

In addition, capacity limits across all business sectors in Massachusetts have been raised to 50% and exclude employees.

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