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Colorado restaurants shut during COVID-19 pandemic soon could reopen

State health officials and restaurant owners have developed safety protocols


Updated Monday, May 25, 2020: On Monday, Gov. Jared Polis announced that restaurants would be allowed to reopen. Read that update here.

Colorado restaurants closed for weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic soon could reopen for limited dining under guidelines that state health officials finalized Sunday evening.

No more than 50 people, or half of normal maximum occupancy, would be allowed to dine at restaurants that adhere to the guidelines and restrictions. Food pickup and delivery still would be encouraged.

Gov. Jared Polis is expected to lay out details Monday. No date for reopening has been given.

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment officials have been working with restaurant owners during the past week developing guidelines and protective protocols that restaurants would have to follow.

Outdoor dining also would be encouraged. State health officials are recommending that restaurants work with local authorities to receive permission for expanded outdoor dining.

Health officials said any restaurant that can adhere to the guidelines can reopen. Among the requirements:

— Tables would have to be spaced at least 6 feet apart.

— Restaurant employees would have to wear face masks.

— All surfaces and shared spaces would have to be cleaned and disinfected between seatings.

— Groups of people dining together would have to stay together with no mingling.

— No more than eight people could sit together.

— Restaurants would have to encourage or require reservations.

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