La. Office of State Fire Marshal issues guidelines for phased reopening of restaurant patios

Restaurants with outdoor patios to reopen May 1 while complying to new state guidelines

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal released updated guidelines for restaurants to operate in accordance with the governor’s stay-at-home order.

On Monday, April 27, Governor John Bel Edwards announced that restaurants will be allowed to open their outside areas for patrons to eat meals only, without tableside service.

Employees at Zippy's move tables and chairs Thursday, April 30 as owner, Neal Henbrick, prepares his restaurant for customers to eat and drink in the space. Only a handful of tables will be available and Henbrick says they will be first-come, first-served.
Employees at Zippy's move tables and chairs Thursday, April 30 as owner, Neal Henbrick, prepares his restaurant for customers to eat and drink in the space. Only a handful of tables will be available and Henbrick says they will be first-come, first-served. (Source: WAFB)

Some key requirements for restaurants include:

  • Reducing outdoor capacity to 25% of that allowed by the Louisiana Office of State Fire Marshal
  • Space tables at least 10 feet apart from each other (measured from all edges of the table)
  • Limit table groups to 10 people
  • Eliminate gathers in the building when entering or exiting outdoor seating areas
  • Restaurant employees are required to wear cloth face coverings while working
  • Employees should also wear gloves for preparing and serving food and should change gloves between customers

If a restaurant has a tent set up for outdoor seating, the tent must have:

  • Two remotely located exits if barriers (fences, barricades, etc.) exist
  • Capacity based on 60 square feet 1 per person of the gross area (25% space to be occupied)
  • Tables spaced a minimum of 10 feet from each other (measured from all edges of the table)
  • Limit table groups to 10 individuals
  • Have a state-approved fire extinguisher within 75 feet of the tent area
  • Minimum 7′ 6″ headroom (ceiling height)

To see the full guidelines, including LDH’s cleaning recommendations for restaurants, click here.

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