The Governor’s Office released new guidelines recently regarding what’s permissible for both indoor and outdoor dining during this Phase 1.

First, the big news is that indoor dining is now allowed – at 25% capacity – with new guidelines related to air flow.  This is known as “Open Air Concept 1.”  This Concept requires at least ONE “permeable” wall (“permeable” meaning having open windows, doors, etc., to allow free airflow into the space).  A CO2 (carbon dioxide) must be placed in the area furthest from the airflow and continuously monitored by staff.

What’s more, outdoor structures must follow this same rule.  That is, you will be required to install a CO2 monitor in an outdoor enclosure with only one open wall.

For this concept:

1.                   Carbon dioxide (CO2) continuously monitored when the seating area is in use to ensure adequate exchange with outdoor air. If CO2 levels exceed 450ppm for 15 minutes, patrons must be relocated to an open-air seating option that meets requirements.

2.                   Table size is limited to six people and tables must be spaced to allow nearest diners at neighboring table seating to be at least 6 feet apart.

3.                   Windows and doors must be opened 10 minutes prior to seating customers and remain open 10 minutes after customers leave.

4.                   CO2 monitor must be in the seating area furthest away from the outdoor air source.


Another option available is outdoor or indoor structures with two opposite open walls.  If all seating areas are within the direct path of cross-ventilation, no CO2 monitor is required.  If there are seating areas outside the direct path of cross-ventilation, monitors would be required there.

Outdoor seating with unobstructed outside air continues to be allowed without a CO2 monitor – with overhead cover and no more than one wall.

Lastly, enclosed structures for individual small groups are allowed.  Structures must be completely aired out, cleaned, and disinfected before each use. Businesses using enclosed seating structures, such as pods/igloos must:

1.            Limit to one seating group (six or fewer people) at a time.

2.            Keep doors and windows open when the structure is occupied by staff.

3.            Ensure the structure is aired out and sanitized between groups. Wait 10 minutes to air the structure out before cleaning and sanitizing.

4.            Use ordering and service methods to reduce or limit employee time in the occupied pod; employees serving the pod must, at a minimum, use disposable masks for medium risk.

Here is a graphic that attempts to illustrate what I’ve summarized above: