Gov. Jay Inslee issued guidance today for partially resuming the dine-in restaurant and tavern industry for counties granted variance under the Safe Start Phase 2 recovery plan laid out last week.
Through the Washington "Safe Start" plan, more businesses and activities will re-open in subsequent phases with adequate safety and health standards in place. Each phase will be at least three weeks — metrics and data will guide when the state can move from one phase to another.
Through the Safe Start approach, counties with a population of less than 75,000 that have not had a new case of COVID-19 in the past three weeks can apply for a variance to move to Phase 2 of “Safe Start” before other parts of the state. County variance applications will be approved or denied by the secretary of the Department of Health. Eight counties have received the variance.
For counties granted variance to move to Phase 2, restaurant operations may resume with limitations after meeting specific criteria, effective May 11, 2020.
"No restaurant or tavern may operate indoor or sit-down services until they can meet and maintain all requirements, including providing materials, schedules and equipment required to comply," the guidance states.