Miami-Dade County just released details on the phase one re-openings to go into effect, Monday, May 18, 2020. According to the 184 page document, restaurants may open for indoor dining with up to 50% capacity so long as there is 6′ of distancing between patrons among many other restrictions details below. The new plan is still subject to review by Governor Ron De Santis.
Dining establishments in Miami-Dade must follow these protocols to ensure a responsible
opening and prioritizes the health, safety, and well-being of both patrons and staff. It applies to any legally established indoor and/or outdoor dining use. It shall remain the responsibility of the restaurants to comply with all applicable laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. Recommendations are in conformance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization, and the Florida Department of Health guidelines. Revisions may be recommended when advisable based on future health indicators.
- Before re-opening, plumbing must be flushed to eliminate stagnant water from the period of closure (see CDC guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-
- Must change and/or upgrade restaurant HVAC filters as necessary to maximize fresh air
(using the maximum filtration for the design of the ventilation system) and increase
outdoor airflow rates where possible. Filters should be changed regularly.
- Install high-efficiency air filters and HVAC systems.*
- In addition to HEPA filtration, install Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI) in
small common areas that cannot be adequately ventilated.*
- *The CDC recommendations for both of these measures are available at
- Must develop and implement plans as appropriate to address any parking garage or other facility access points leading to restaurant entrances (e.g., limiting capacity in elevators; sanitizing elevator touchpoints; cleaning stairway handrails; frequent cleaning or suspending the use of parking payment machines and alternatives for valet parking
arrangements (valet must be avoided in the first phase*); etc.). These plans must be
available for review and inspection.
*Where parking is available, guests who arrive in their own cars will self-park. Valet will not be an option where onsite parking is available. Where parking is unavailable, valet may be utilized. Valet operator will step away 6 feet after opening car door (visual markers should be placed on the ground to assist). After
parking, vehicle operator will switch or sanitize gloves prior to servicing the next vehicle.
- Must have self-dispensing hand sanitizer or handwashing station at the entrance to the
- Trash bins with lids that open without the need to touch the lids must be placed and
available for use to staff and guests in all entrance areas.
- Must put in place a disposal plan for safe handling and dispensing of used PPEs in
restaurants and relevant exterior areas (e.g. use designated solid waste bags that are
double-bagged and securely sealed).
- Health & safety signage/visual aids with messaging similar to that appended to this
document must be posted for customers and staff with easy visibility to all intended
audiences. Signage should promote hand hygiene and physical distancing and request
customers not to enter the restaurant if they are unwell or have COVID-19 symptoms;
Translate into all relevant languages.
- All restaurants must create visible floor markings for appropriate 6-foot distancing for
each party in any waiting areas, whether exterior or interior.
- Distinct areas must be created for customer waiting, order pickup/take out and any thirdparty delivery services.
- Must Introduce plexiglass barriers at tills and counters as an additional level of protection
- All playgrounds must remain closed until Emergency Orders are lifted.
A team consisting of the heads of each restaurant’s internal operational units must be convened to evaluate the health status of restaurant staff prior to opening for business and on an ongoing basis as described below:
- Records must be kept documenting:
- Any unusual rise in worker absenteeism, especially those related to respiratory
- Numbers of staff that test positive for the virus and follow an established protocol*
for managing the consequences resulting from each positive individual.
- This documentation must include Closing Procedures in Case of Exposure.
Restaurants must have ready procedures to quickly mobilize to shut down the
restaurant, notify all staff and execute deep cleaning protocols per CDC
- Lessons learned each day and corrective actions and policies implemented.
- Any unusual rise in worker absenteeism, especially those related to respiratory
- The team will maintain:
- Communication with managers of different units within the restaurant (Cooking
staff, waiters, busboys, hosts, and if relevant, valet service members (valet service
should be avoided for the first phase).
- Contact information on staff, including emergency telephone numbers (ideally cell
phone numbers) and e-mail addresses.
- Physical or Electronic Logbook of actions, measures, and improvements
- Physical or Electronic Logbook of training of staff including date of training, type of
training noting the amount of time of training, and continuing training.
- Communication with managers of different units within the restaurant (Cooking
- An individual must be assigned each shift to monitor and supervise the food,
equipment, procedures, and management of the health and safety measures for
restaurant guests and staff. Cleaning Task Checklists must be created and used daily
to ensure enhanced cleaning and sanitizing procedures are uniformly followed by
each shift. An individual must be specifically assigned within the kitchen to monitor
incidents of close contact as defined in the below under “Employee Social Distancing.”
- Regular announcements should be made reminding employees and customers to
follow physical distancing and to wash their hands.
- Restaurants electing to avail themselves of outdoor dining allowances must consider
the impact of inclement weather in the formulation of their operational plans and on
the maintenance of social distances during rain events.
- Self-audits or third-party audits are recommended and adapted to focus on enhanced
*If a COVID-19 case for a visitor or a staff member is reported, the establishment must strictly follow Florida
Department of Health (https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/exposure/ ) and CDC guidelines for notification and
for cleaning and sanitizing (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-businessresponse.html and https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/general-business-faq.html).
Physical distancing is critical to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing protocols must be observed by patrons and staff, as outlined below.
- Any indoor restaurant operation must be limited by the Governor’s Executive Order
but no more than 50% of its building occupancy with the maintenance of social
distancing of 6 feet between parties*. Any outdoor seating must maintain similar
distancing but in no event may the combined indoor and outdoor operation exceed
100% of its legally permitted building occupancy. All bar counters must remain closed
*To estimate the occupancy of a space, divide the square footage of the room by the square footage required per person (or per group of guests who live in the same household).
- A per table party limit of 4 persons must be maintained whether seating is indoor or
outdoors unless the members of the party are from the same household. When parties
are from the same household, tables may seat up to 6 persons. Restaurants must also
make reasonable accommodations to party sizes to accommodate guests with
disabilities such as allowing additional seating for health care aides. Whenever possible,
it is recommended to have a maximum of 4 persons for 100 square feet (10 square
- Tables must be arranged such that the distance from the back of one chair to the back
of another chair shall be at least 6 feet apart and guests shall face each other from a
distance of at least 3 feet (3 foot of internal table distance does not apply to parties
consisting of one household unit).* In order to facilitate compliance with these distancing requirements, restaurants must establish a procedure to inquire from arriving parties whether or not they consist of one household unit. It is recommended that seating configurations be prearranged to ensure that parties reporting themselves as being from different households are seated at tables accommodating the 3 foot internal distancing requirement.
*Importantly, being from the same family but living in different homes does require maintenance of the 3
foot internal table distancing within parties; 3 foot internal table distancing must be maintained for any
members of a party that do not live in the same household.
Use of a full-body disinfectant booth (example, CleanTech J-1) to sanitize all employees prior to entry is recommended; however, a restaurant’s voluntary installation of a sanitation booth does not negate the need for establishment of the below procedures.
Training Proprietors must ensure all restaurant staff have a clear understanding of how a business will be operating with all necessary health & safety protocols.
- Staff working in restaurants must be provided with written instructions and training
on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 per existing Florida Department of
Health literature (see attached).
- Normal routine fitness to work procedures employed by food businesses as part
of their Food Safety Management Systems (FSMS) must ensure that infected
workers are excluded from food premises.
- Staff who are unwell or have symptoms of COVID-19 must not be at work and
must be informed about how to contact medical professionals.*
*This is imperative because if an infected worker handles food, it is possible that they could introduce the virus to uncooked food they are working on, or onto surfaces within the food business, by coughing and sneezing, or through hand contact. Also, in the case of COVID19, it is not uncommon that infected people may be asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic and may not display any signs or symptoms of disease or may
present with mild symptoms that are easily overlooked. Some infected people, not yet displaying symptoms, are contagious and capable of spreading SARS-CoV2 (the virus responsible for COVID19).
Health Screening Questions
The manager (or designee) must ask every employee the following health screening questions before each shift to help identify any symptoms of COVID-19*:
- Have you experienced a fever 99.5 °F (37.5°C), cough (any kind dry or productive), sore throat, shortness of breath or breathing difficulties, fatigue, chills, muscle pain, headache, or loss of taste or smell since your last shift?
- Have you come into contact with anyone who has at least two of the symptoms listed
above since your last shift?
- Have you come into contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 since
your last shift?
* Health screening questions can be administered on-line through a secure employee portal and sent electronically to the restaurant prior to the employee arriving for work or via telephone.
Employees must take their temperature at home before coming to work and must not come to work if the thermometer reading reveals a temperature of 99.5 °F (37.5°C). They must report their temperature as being above or below this threshold upon arrival at work. Specific employee temperatures should not be kept by restaurants; rather, the information is to be recorded in a daily log as “Pass/Fail.”*
*It shall remain the responsibility of the restaurants to comply with all applicable laws, including HIPPA, when engaging in screening procedures.
Alternatively, restaurants may elect to take employee temperatures prior to their entry into the facility. Thermometers must be single use or touchless/infrared and should be kept in a cool place and out of direct sunlight. Restaurants using infrared thermometers must take care to carefully calibrate these thermometers according to the manufacturer’s recommended calibration procedure and schedule. Temperature taking should be conducted in the shade and when employees have rested (approximately 10-15 minutes) if they bike or walk to work.
Employees must not enter restaurants prior to the self-reporting of acceptable temperature
readings or the taking of their temperature by restaurants electing to take employee
temperatures. Temperature screening is required until the end of phase 1 and recommend
after phase 1.**
*It is recommended that each facility have reliable single-use thermometers available in case a patron or employee becomes symptomatic while at the restaurant
**Keep in mind that not having a temperature does not exclude someone from being contagious. It shall remain the responsibility of the restaurants to comply with all applicable laws, including HIPPA, when engaging in screening procedures.
If a time clock or other conventional record-keeping device is used, it must be cleaned with
sanitizer after each employee use. The restaurant will provide a chlorine or alcohol wipe for
the cleaning of these devices by each employee. Consider the use of an electronic wearable
device for each employee that would automatically capture the time when an employee arrives and departs.
Handwashing and Need for Increased Frequency of Handwashing
Restaurants need to ensure that adequate sanitary facilities are provided and ensure that food workers thoroughly and frequently wash their hands. Employees must wash hands and change gloves (if applicable to workstation -see below) at least every 30 minutes and every time a team member changes tasks (including upon arrival at the restaurant before starting work).
Hand cleaning between tables is needed each time servers or staff come into physical contact with guests at the tables or with their food, drinks, dishware, silverware, napkins or other serving equipment. Hands must be washed before, after, and between deliveries to different tables (whether it be food or other table objects).
Restaurants must facilitate easy hand cleaning with soap and water between tables by servers and other staff. This can be done by either:
- Installation of permanent or portable touchless faucets, liquid soap dispenses, and paper towel dispensers with easy accessibility within dining areas is recommended (this is in addition to existing bathroom facilities).
- Alternatively, simple handwashing stations can be created throughout the restaurant and dining area through the use of commercially available wet towel bucket dispensers
(employing single use paper towels and water) in conjunction with automatic soap
dispensers. Wet cloth towels (with water) may also be used as an alternative to paper
towels (so long as they are employed as single use) (example: Kimtech Wettask system).
Handwashing stations must be accompanied by nearby touchless trash bins to dispose
of used paper or cloth towels.
All restaurants must employ some form of in-dining room handwashing station method
that allows staff to wash their hands before and after coming into physical contact with
table contents. Hand sanitizers can be used as an additional measure but should not
Face Mask Requirement for all Employees and Third-Party Affiliates
All restaurant employees are considered to be food handlers for the purpose of this document and must wear masks. Food handlers are people who directly touch open food as part of their work, but it also includes staff who may touch food contact surfaces or other surfaces in rooms where open food is handled. The term can, therefore, apply not only to host, managers, servers, bussers, and food runners but also to managers, cleaners, maintenance contractors, delivery workers, and food inspectors.
Glove use is to be reserved to employees involved in direct food preparations as defined
by existing industry regulatory standards* (traditionally back of house staff) but also includes bussers and foodrunners. In restaurants where servers or other staff also act as bussers or foodrunners, glove use should be replaced by handwashing after each physical encountered as described above under “Handwashing”. Safe glove use includes:
- Do NOT touch mouth, nose or eyes when wearing gloves.
- All gloves must be changed frequently, at least every 30 minutes or when changing tasks.
- Gloves must be changed after carrying out non-food related activities, such as
opening/closing doors by hand, and emptying bins.
- Hands must be washed between glove changes and when gloves are removed.
- Removal of disposable gloves can lead to contamination of hands. Safe glove removal
procedures may be found at https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/pdf/poster-how-to-removegloves.pdf.
- Disposable gloves are not a substitute for handwashing.**
*Wearing disposable gloves can give a false sense of security and may result in staff not washing hands as frequently as required. The COVID-19 virus can contaminate disposable gloves in the same way it gets onto workers’ hands. Handwashing is a greater protective barrier to infection than wearing disposable gloves.
** KNOW that viruses and bacteria will build up on the surface of the hands even when you wear gloves, so handwashing is critical when gloves are removed to avoid subsequent contamination of food.
Employee Social Distancing Measures
- Limit the number of staff in a food preparation area at any one time.
- Organize staff into working groups or teams to facilitate reduced interaction between
- Stagger workstations on either side of processing lines, so that food workers are not
facing one another.
- Space out workstations, which may require a reduction in the speed of production lines.
- Provide PPE such as face masks, hair nets, disposable gloves (in food preparation areas)
per existing industry regulations. Use of PPE is routine in high-risk areas of food premises that produce ready-to-eat and cooked foods. When staff are dressed in PPE it is possible to reduce the distance between workers from 6 feet to 3 feet. Any breach of the 3 foot distance between workers must not exceed 15 consecutive minutes per incident. An individual must be specifically assigned within the kitchen to monitor incidents of close
- Frequency of surface cleaning and sanitizing must be increased.
- The number of staff in break rooms must be limited and disinfected regularly.
- It is recommended that front-of-house staff not enter back-of-house areas where
EPA guidance on effective use of disinfectants is available at
Kitchen areas must have handwashing stations fully equipped with soap and selfdispensing paper towels. Ideally the faucets operation is hands-free.
Wash and frequently sanitize items such as ladles, tongs, and condiment holders.
Keep internal doors open where possible to minimize contact.
Washing of dishes, silverware, and table linen:
o All dishes, silverware, and glassware must be washed and disinfected in a
dishwashing machine, including items that have not been used, as they might have
been in contact with the hands of guests or staff.
o If for any reason manual washing is required, the usual steps must be followed
(wash, disinfect, rinse), taking the maximum level of precautions. Drying must be
carried out using disposable paper towels. Likewise, tablecloths and napkins
should be washed in the usual manner.
o Laundry: All table linen will be washed at high temperatures and per CDC
o Textiles, linens, and clothes should be put in special, marked laundry bags and
handled carefully to prevent raising dust, with consequent potential contamination
of surrounding surfaces or people
Employee Meals: Meals from home shall not be allowed in the kitchen.
Manager’s Office: Must be disinfected with every shift change, with particular attention
to high touchpoints (mouse, keyboard, etc.).
Customers must wear masks at all times unless seated at a table.
Hands-free sanitizer must be available at the entrance. Front door must be operated using one or more of the following:
- Use electronic self-opening mechanism or employ a door person to open and close doors for customers. Doors must be disinfected and wiped down doors every 30 minutes (selfopening doors do not require this frequency of wiping).
- Provide wipes/paper towels to customers at entrance and exit for individual use along
with trash receptacle. Trash must be disposed of regularly and must be contained in a
bin with a touchless lid that opens without the need to touch the lid. Doors must be
disinfected and wiped down every 30 minutes.
Host Stands must be operated as follows:
- Hand sanitizer must be available at the host stand.
- Host staff must maintain social distance from the customer as escorting to the table.
- Mints, toothpicks and other articles must not be provided as self-service. If individually
wrapped, they can be provided at the table.
- Where possible, parties must wait in vehicles for their tables. Host stand waiting areas
must contain visible floor markings as noted above for appropriate 6-foot distancing for
each party in any waiting areas, whether exterior or interior.
Bar use for seating is presently prohibited by the Governor’s Order. Should bar use be
allowed, it must be in accordance with the following:
Any bar use must be treated as a table for in-house dining unless it is acting as a takeout
Any bar seating must be socially distanced at 6 feet between parties.
Bars must not be used as a waiting area. Absolutely no congregation will be
permitted at bars.
No self-service of any kind including drink fountains, buffets or salad bars shall be
permitted for Phase 1 – opening.
Any employees approaching tables must wear masks.
Gloves must be worn by bussers and food runners; as noted above, any other
staff not wearing gloves that places or removes food or objects from a table
while patrons are sitting at the table must wash their hands before, after and
between each physical encounter with a guest table (where the table or its
contents were physically touched).
The server must maintain maximum social distance feasible while interacting with
The number of staff approaching tables should be minimized.
No self-service by customers.
Table Setting must conform to the following*:
All menus must be disposable and single-use, or the menu can be provided on a web
page/QR code that the customer can be instructed to view on their personal device.
Signage should instruct the customers on the use of internet and web page.
If silverware is not disposable, only roll-ups will be allowed. Employees providing
cutlery to patrons must wash hands before handling cutlery and placing at tables.
No open cutlery is permitted as a preset.
No water/wine glasses are permitted as presets.
No condiments or breadbaskets are permitted as presets (but may be made available
after the party is seated).
All condiments must be single-use.
Hand sanitizing wipes or another form of handwashing method must be provided at
Tables and chairs must be sanitized mechanically, using an EPA approved
disinfectant that is safe for the furniture, after each party’s use or, if not used, every 60
*The presentation or setting of single-service and single use articles and cleaned and sanitized utensils
shall be done in a manner designed to prevent the contamination of food and lip-contact surfaces. As per FDA Food Code 4-904.13:
(A) Except as specified in (B) of this section, tableware that is preset shall be protected from
contamination by being wrapped, covered, or inverted
(B) Preset tableware may be exposed if:
1. Unused settings are removed when a consumer in seated; or
2. Settings not removed when a consumer is seated are cleaned and sanitized before further use.
Order Taking at Quick Service Restaurant Counter/Window
Contactless Procedures: Must minimize contact at drive-thru and front counter for delivery
of food and drinks as well as payment.
Screen Shields: When proper social distancing cannot be ensured, acrylic barriers must
Kiosks: Must be sanitized after each guest use or, if not used, every 60 minutes.
Utensils: Must be made available at the front counter only. All utensils must be wrapped
Drinks: Must be made available at the front counter only (no self-service). New cups
must be provided for each refill.
Food Packaging: All food must be packaged to-go and trays will not be available.
Contactless/Cashless transactions are encouraged.
Check presenters must not be used.
Any necessary payment devices must be sanitized after each use. Provide wipes so
that each customer wipes the device on use.
Must be maintained as single-use for Phase 1 – opening period (with exceptions for special
Surfaces: Must disinfect high touch surfaces hourly (door handles, cubicle closures, sink
levers, manual dispensers, air dryers (if applicable), etc.).
Any surfaces that become soiled with respiratory secretions or other body fluids, e.g. toilet,
handwashing basins must be cleaned with a regular household disinfectant solution
containing 0.1% sodium hypochlorite (that is, equivalent to 1000 ppm).
Surfaces must be rinsed with clean water after sufficient contact time for the chlorine. The
clean water rinse should happen after 10 minutes contact time for chlorine.
Whenever possible, use only disposable cleaning materials.
o If a known or suspected COVID19 person used the restaurant restroom, discard
any cleaning equipment made of cloths and absorbent materials, e.g. mophead
and wiping cloths.
When pertinent, disinfect properly non-porous cleaning materials with 0.5% sodium
hypochlorite solution or according to manufacturer’s instructions before using for other
Guest Handwashing: Must maintain adequate levels of hand soap, paper towels, and hand
sanitizer (if applicable). If paper towels are not provided, the restaurant must install a handsfree door pull (elbow or foot-operated). The preferred drying method is recommended to be
Trash: Must have a trash can by the door if paper towels are used. The trash bin must have
a lid, and the lid should open without the need to handle (touch) the lid. Trash and sanitary
trash must be discarded regularly.
Guests must wear masks or face covering that covers the mouth and the nose as they
leave their tables.
Guests must maintain social distancing as exiting the restaurant.
The restaurant must wipe down door handles with each exit (or mirror applicable entry
procedures noted above) as guests exit.
Provide a separate exit from the entrance if feasible and mirror the applicable entry
procedures stated above.
Other Customer Experiences
Curbside Service: Where possible, recommend the use of curbside and contactless
procedures to deliver orders to guests in the designated parking area.
Contactless Procedures: Recommend use of a designated pan to receive payment,
wearing of gloves (back of the house in food prep and front of the house in service), use
of tray or pan to deliver food/drinks, and removal of any self-service elements.
Screen Shields: Acrylic barriers are recommended to be installed as sneeze guards.
Packaging: All delivery services must ensure that packaging is secure for the guest so
drivers cannot tamper with the product. Recommend to seal or staple packaging.
Social Distancing: Contactless procedures must be followed when transferring orders
to delivery drivers. Ensure that delivery drivers maintain minimum 6-foot social distancing
while waiting for orders.
All third party, contract services and vendor deliveries must maintain minimum 6-foot
social distancing, wear face masks when entering restaurants and wash hands/sanitize
between stops and/or deliveries.