Restaurants Officially Allowed to Re-Open Next Week… But Here are the Rules

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As Bavaria slowly comes out of lockdown, some of the final industries to return to business are gastronomy and tourism. The wait isn’t for much longer though because the first restaurants will be allowed to re-open starting next week.

But what are the rules? When must masks be worn? And what distance requirements must be kept between customers?

Today, Bavarian state ministers Florian Herrmann (Minister of Federal and European Affairs + Media), Melanie Huml (Minister of Health and Nursing) and Hubert Aiwanger (Minister of Economy) held a press conference to announce further clarifications and updates for Bavaria’s lockdown exit strategy.

In the gastronomy and hospitality industries, the following was confirmed:

  • From May 18 onwards, outdoor catering/dining (e.g. beer gardens) will be allowed to open until 8pm
  • From May 25 onwards, interior dining rooms of establishments will be allowed to open until 10pm
  • From May 30 onwards, hotels, holiday apartments and campsites may re-open (subject to restrictions such as public areas like pools/fitness centres being closed)

A framework has also been introduced, upon which individual catering establishments may develop their own protective hygiene policies. Fundamental parts of this framework include:

  • 1.5m distance must be kept between between guests, staff, and other restaurant customers. Families and members of the same household may however sit closer together.
  • For servers and staff: nose/mouth coverage (e.g. masks) is mandatory for servers in dining rooms. Nose/mouth coverage inside the kitchen is only mandatory in instances when the 1.5m cannot be maintained.
  • For guests: nose/mouth coverage (e.g. masks) is mandatory when they are not at their table. Instances where a mask must be worn include when going to the washroom, entering/leaving, etc.
  • Plans for ventilation and cleaning must be adjusted. It seems this may be up to the discretion of individual establishments (but based on the new framework introduced).
  • Contact details of guests will be recorded. This information will then be used to contact guests in case it is found that another patron has tested positive for the virus.

You can watch the full press conference here.

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