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Not all “outdoor” dining is allowed under Level Red. Here’s what to know before going out to eat.

That large tent outside might not be the safest option

Ace Eat Serve’s heated patio and igloos on 17th Avenue. The restaurant’s open-air patio and private outdoor dining structures are allowed under Level Red coronavirus restrictions.
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As of December 1, Denver and 24 other Colorado counties are at Level Red on the state’s COVID-19 dial, which means no indoor dining at restaurants, among other restrictions.

While diners can still sit outside at restaurants, their options to do so are more limited than they were during the summer and fall months, when open-air patios and oversized tents proliferated.

According to the state’s health department, only certain outside dining scenarios are still considered “outdoors” under Level Red coronavirus restrictions.

Single-party structures such as igloos and greenhouses are allowed, as long as they are ventilated between uses. Anything with a roof, like an umbrella or canopy, but no walls, is also Level-Red compliant. And tents that have two non-adjacent sides open — creating an air tunnel — also are acceptable.

But tents with four walls and a ceiling aren’t allowed under Level Red, and neither are tents with just one or two adjacent sides open. “This structure would have limited air flow and the virus particles would remain concentrated, particularly for people farthest away from the ‘open’ side of the structure,” the state’s guidelines read.

Keep this in mind next time you’re choosing a place with a heated patio to dine outside, or wondering why your neighborhood restaurant’s tented patio isn’t operating on a cold evening. More details about the state’s regulations around outdoor dining can be found at bit.ly/33BktTp.

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