Table of Contents
As the U.S. continues to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, rules and policies for restaurants and bars are changing and evolving constantly as new challenges arise. Restaurants that are open one day might be suddenly closed the next time you stop by. Temperature checks, masks, and take-out only are still the norm in some states, while others are permitting dine-in customers. Alcohol regulations are in a similar state of flux. Some lucky cities are relaxing their regulations and even allowing booze delivery but others (looking at you, South Carolina) are enforcing alcohol sales curfews in order to discourage people from congregating and getting too tipsy to properly social distance. It can be a challenge to keep up with the shifting laws, so here’s a current guide to where restaurants and bars are closing down across America. State-by-state!
The rules in AL are: no alcohol sales after 11 pm, social distancing in bar areas, hand sanitizer must be available for employees and patrons, no use of communal silverware, and businesses must disinfect high-touch areas at least every two hours.
In Anchorage only, there’s no dine-in during a “four-week reset” period that began on August 3rd and restaurants or businesses must note customers who stay for an extended period for contract tracing purposes. Bars are limited to 25% capacity across the state.
In AZ, indoor dining is limited to 50% capacity. There’s no limit on the number of outdoor diners, but tables must be at least 6 feet apart. No buffets or self-serve dining joints are open and reservations are encouraged everywhere.
Restaurants must let customers and health officials know if an employee has tested positive for COVID-19 and capacity for indoor diners is limited to two-thirds full.
Indoor dining at restaurants is closed across CA for now. Outdoor seating, to-go orders, and delivery are still available at some restaurants.
Indoor dining is allowed at 50% capacity as long as tables are at least 6 feet apart and there are fewer than 50 total patrons in the dining room. Bars or breweries that serve food are allowed to have in-person service if they follow all restaurant regulations, and bars and breweries that do not sell food are closed. They do have the option to offer curbside and delivery service.
Restaurants with a liquor license (and bars, of course) can sell sealed alcohol to-go and must follow package-store hours. Bars that don’t sell food are temporarily closed.
Restaurants can offer indoor dining at 60% capacity with required face coverings — unless actively eating or drinking, and 6 feet distance between seating areas must be observed.
Bars whose profits come mostly from alcohol (over 50%) can’t offer in-person service but can sell to-go alcohol. Indoor restaurant dining is permitted at 50% capacity.
There are no restrictions for indoor or outdoor dining capacity at restaurants, but social distancing guidelines and sanitization regulations must be in place. To-go alcohol and delivery are available in some counties in GA.
Many bars and restaurants have been opened but, indoor gatherings are limited to 50 people. Outdoor gatherings are limited to 100 as long as social distancing is observed.
No restrictions in ID, but all operations must have social distancing and sanitization guidelines in place.
There is no indoor service at bars that don’t sell food and a 25% capacity limit on indoor restaurant dining.
Bars can offer indoor service at 50% capacity and restaurants can operate at 75% capacity. All businesses must create a COVID-19 safety plan that includes sanitation procedures.
Bars are open if they’re following safety measures. For restaurants, customer limits must be enforced for indoor service, and patrons must stay 6 feet apart from anyone not in their party.
KS has no state-wide restrictions besides face coverings and social distancing procedures.
Bars are closed for now, but indoor restaurant dining is allowed at 25% capacity. Outdoor dining has no limits, save for masks being required if there isn’t enough space to properly social distance.
Bars are closed for in-person service but they can offer to-go and delivery alcohol. LA Restaurants can operate at 50% capacity.
All ME bars are closed, but many restaurants are open with customer limits and social distancing procedures.
MD bars aren’t open yet. Restaurants are open and allowed to operate at 50% capacity.
Bars are not open in MA. Restaurants can operate with indoor dining limited to 25 patrons maximum and 6 feet of distance between tables.
No indoor bar service is allowed in MI, but outdoor service is permitted. Restaurants are open with some restrictions.
Restaurants can offer indoor dining but reservations are required. MN bars are not able to open yet.
MS bar patrons must be seated at all times to be served. Restaurants are able to reopen as long as they’re following safety procedures.
MO is fully reopened with no restrictions for bars or restaurants.
MT restaurants are open with social distancing procedures and a 75% capacity limit. Bars here are closed for the immediate future.
NE bars and restaurants can operate at full capacity, but parties may not exceed 8 people at one table.
NV restaurants can operate at full capacity as long as they’re following safety procedures. Bars and nightclubs are still closed.
In NH, Indoor and outdoor dining are at full capacity for restaurants, but separate parties must be 6 feet apart. Bars have not opened yet.
Indoor dining is suspended at restaurants but outdoor dining is still allowed. NJ bars remained closed.
In NM, indoor restaurant dining is allowed at 50% capacity, and face coverings are required when not eating or drinking. Bars are not open yet.
NY restaurants can offer indoor dining at 50% capacity and face coverings are required for entry. Diners in this state can be fined for not social-distancing. Bars are NOT open.
NC bars are open but must stop serving alcohol at 11 pm, and restaurants are open with customer limits in place.
ND restaurants are open for indoor dining at 75% capacity allowed at restaurants open; bars are closed for now.
OH bars are open but must stop selling alcohol after 10 pm, and indoor dining is permitted at restaurants with customer limits in place.
OK bars and restaurants are both open but must have guidelines for sanitization in place.
In Umatilla county only, restaurants are delivery or take-out only for now. Statewide in OR, indoor dining is allowed as long as tables are 6 feet apart.
PA restaurants are offering indoor dining at 25% capacity, with face covering required. PA bars are closed.
In RI, indoor dining is allowed at 65% capacity, but restaurant’s bar areas must be closed and tables must be 6 feet apart. RI bars are closed.
SC restaurants are open and requiring face coverings whenever you’re not eating or drinking. Indoor dining is limited to 50% capacity Bars are open but must stop selling alcohol at 11 pm.
SD bars and restaurants are both open with testing for employees and sanitization regulations highly encouraged.
In TN, restaurants are open for indoor dining with tables that are 6 feet apart and parties are limited to 10 people. Bars are open but must stop serving alcohol at 10 pm.
TX bars and restaurants can operate at 50% capacity, though face coverings are required when social distancing can’t be maintained.
UT restaurants are open if tables are at least 6 feet apart. Buffets are open but servers must hand plates to patrons, and bars are closed.
VT restaurants and bars are operating at 50% capacity.
VA restaurants and bars are open at 50% capacity and alcohol sales at both are suspended after 10 pm.
Restaurants in some WA counties are open for indoor dining at 50% capacity, with all restaurant patrons required to be from the same household. Some counties are to-go or delivery only. All WA bars are closed at this time.
WV Bars and restaurants are fully open, with face covering regulations required.
Find Which Countries are Reopening in August
Need to get further? View our list of which countries are reopening in August.
WI restaurants and bars are open but must have guidelines in place and require face coverings for entry.
WY restaurants are open with capacity limits, and staff members must wear face coverings. Restaurants also have to put their own regulations for sanitation and safety in place.
Featured Image Credit: Pexels