Strict hygiene standards enforced with restricted capacity limits
BY JOSH RESNEK
Indoor dining has returned but will the patrons return to the diners and restaurants?
This is the big question as Phase 2 of the state’s reopening process begins in this era of the new normal.
There is no capacity limit, but all tables must be six feet apart.
Bar seating is not allowed.
Customers and workers must wear face masks.
Table servers must wash their hands or use hand sanitizer between each table interaction.
Local restaurants are all complying with state mandates that require these extraordinary health and hygiene standards as well as restrictions on numbers who can dine inside establishments.
Everything communal – buffets, drink stations, topping bars are not allowed.
Paper menus are required.
For the city’s many and varied restaurant and food outlet owners, a collective sigh of relief has been exhaled, as the return to a semblance of normalcy aids proprietors in their struggle to stay alive financially.
However, the return to the new normal will not be as easy or neat or clean as the way things used to be before the Coronavirus kicked us in the butt.
Nowhere is this going to be more obvious than at the Encore Boston Harbor Casino and Hotel, the city’s largest employer, source of income and business. With everything now set at the Massachusetts Gaming Commission with an extensive agreement detailing exactly what the casino must to do reopen, the way is cleared for a possible reopening on June 29th or thereabout.
Phase 2, Part 2 is a reality at a time when Coronavirus statistics are revealing the virus solidly under control in Massachusetts.
In other parts of the nation, the virus is spiking, causing great concern about the state’s ability to maintain a virus free environment in a nation where lax standards from state to state and travel from state to state by those who are infected must be tracked. This week less than 20 people died from the virus across the state and fewer were infected than at any time since February.
In Everett, as of Tuesday morning, the city reported a total of 1740 confirmed cases of the virus, with 1304 being recovered and about 25 deaths since the beginning of the crisis.
City inspectors will be patrolling the city’s businesses to make certain they are conforming to the new standards required to reopen the local economy.
It is believed outdoor di ing will remain more popular with residents than indoor dining.
It will take a while before residents want to venture indoors with their families while the virus is still present all over the United States.