Dine-in at restaurants part of next phase as Ohio reopens

As some phases of Ohio’s reopening have begun, there has been very little information divulged by the DeWine administration about a plan to reopen restaurants. Those details were introduced during the governor’s May 7 news conference.

Restaurants across the state will be able to reopen for business in two stages. Restaurants that offer an eating area outside will be able to welcome patrons back May 15, while the remaining restaurants will be open for business May 21.

“Restaurants and bars are going to be asked to create a floor plan that complies with current social distancing guidelines,” said Treva Weaver, chief operating officer of N. Wasserstrom, who headed up the governor’s restaurant workforce. “For example, parties of 10 or less will be seated together and each party will be separated by 6 feet or by a physical barrier. I know as a state we can focus on safety and get our restaurants reopened if we all use these new guidelines.”

DeWine called this announcement a significant time in the journey through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is a good day when we can open things up, but this is a high risk operation,” DeWine said. “It would also be high risk for our state and for our country if we didn’t do anything. I ask you to make those calculated risks and make those good judgments because what you do will impact the success of Ohio’s comeback.”

In a statement, the Ohio Restaurant Association said:

“The ORA is committed to working with restaurants throughout Ohio to operate safely and showcase those efforts through the Ohio Restaurant Promise so the dining public can confidently patronize Ohio’s excellent restaurants. We all love the communities and neighborhoods we serve and can’t wait to see guests safely back in dining rooms and on patios. We will partner with health departments in Ohio to focus owners and operators on strict adherence to the Administration’s requirements and recommended guidelines.”

Other sectors

The cosmetology sector in Ohio is also slated to reopen May 15. At that time, counting restaurants, retail, salons, manufacturing and construction industries, over 90% of Ohio business will be open again.

Gov. DeWine announced that more details about decisions regarding child care will be announced May 11.