Lola Jean's Giveback Coffee photo by David Kovaluk

St. Louis city and county share new rules for reopening restaurants, bars and more May 18

This morning, St. Louis County Executive Sam Page began to shed light on what reopening the county will look like, with changes set to take place Monday, May 18. In the afternoon, mayor Lyda Krewson detailed the city’s immediate future on St. Louis Public Radio.  

Though the county’s order said steps had been taken to increase access to testing and educate citizens about the dangers of the coronavirus, it went on to clarify that “infection and hospitalization rates have not shown sustained decrease” in all areas. On the radio, Krewson explicitly warned of a potential second wave of coronavirus cases in the region. 

Among the more notable points of the county’s seven-page order include the decree that restaurants and bars serving food can open dining rooms, but must limit capacity to 25% of the space’s authorized occupancy. It is recommended that institutions should “install physical barriers between customers and employees where possible” and also practice safe social distancing of over 6 feet between customers and employees.

Krewson’s plan for the city was similar: Restaurants can open, but tables must be six feet apart. She said that employees must wear masks and that customers are encouraged to do so as well.  

Naturally, customers will not be allowed to bring outside containers or bags into restaurants. Restaurants are encouraged to arrange for contactless payment, pickup and delivery options when possible. 

Bars and businesses that serve alcohol but not “full meals” cannot reopen dining rooms, meaning that they’ll only be able to remain open for curbside service.  

Page said that public gatherings up to 10 people will be possible again, although the order recommends masks for all residents over two years old in all public spaces. 

The list of public spaces prohibited from opening remains long for the county: entertainment spaces, conference and sporting venues, gyms and fitness centers, banquet rooms, sporting events and playgrounds. Professional sports teams may train and practice if no members of the public attend. Krewson said that retail shops can open. 

The county order went on to outline the detailed “disinfection processes” recommended for public businesses, including “providing hand washing or sanitizing opportunities for the public where possible” and requiring “frequent” cleaning of objects like elevator buttons, door handles, check-out areas (credit card machines and keypads), carts and baskets, restrooms and more. 

Tags : News, Coronavirus