St. Louis County to Expand Business Capacity to 50 Percent Including Restaurants and Bars
ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (STL.News) St. Louis County, Missouri, will allow businesses, including restaurants and bars, to expand capacity to 50 percent beginning Thursday, at 12:01 a.m.
The change comes with a decrease in cases and improved associated metrics, including hospitalizations and continued robust compliance with public health orders.
The current capacity limit is 25 percent. All other safety restrictions for employees and customers remain in place.
“We have been measured and thoughtful in our response to this pandemic and listened closely to our various advisory groups on how to reopen our businesses in a way that is safe to employees and customers,” said County Executive Dr. Sam Page.
The Department of Public Health has worked closely with its Restaurant Advisory Group, which led to re-opening restaurants at 25 percent capacity on January 4 and relaxing curfew to 11 p.m., from 10 p.m., on February 1.
The Department of Public Health still considers indoor dining a risky activity, and St. Louis County’s Safer at Home Order, as amended, remains in place. It went into effect on Nov. 17.
“While COVID-19 case numbers have decreased and some associated metrics have started to improve, it is still imperative that stringent mitigation strategies continue to be employed to control community transmission of the virus, which still has the potential to overwhelm the health care system in the St. Louis region,” states the amended public health order changing capacity limits. “The most important action that every individual can take to protect themselves and others is to limit unnecessary person-to-person interactions outside of their household.”
Under the revised public health order, all restaurants and bars are limited to 50% or less of the entity’s authorized fire or building code occupancy OR are limited to the number of tables in the facility where individual groups can sit 6 feet apart from other particular groups. All restaurants and bars must abide by whichever is less.
Also, under the revised public health order, the following guidelines for restaurants and bars remain in place:
- Close by 11 p.m. for indoor and outdoor service. Carry-out and delivery are not subject to the 11 p.m. curfew.
- Provide employees and volunteers working in the businesses’ facility with face masks or supplies to make face coverings.
- Require customers to wear face masks at all times when they are interacting with or being served by a restaurant employee.
- Require customers to remain seated except when going to the restroom.
- Comply with social distancing requirements, disinfection processes, and any additional applicable requirements as determined by DPH. These other requirements are posted on stlcorona.com and relate to general and business-specific operating standards, guidelines, and protocols.
- Assist DPH with contact tracing when asked.
- Weather permitting, all restaurants and bars are encouraged to continue to provide outdoor service, carryout, and delivery.
Banquet facilities are also subject to the 50% capacity limitation OR 50 people or less if the fire or building code allows 100 or more people. Banquet facilities must comply with all the operating guidelines of restaurants and bars.