Is It Safe To Eat Inside Restaurants Amid Coronavirus Outbreak?


Eating out has been a no-no for months due to the coronavirus pandemic. The risk of catching the pathogen is greater when one is in a public place, especially in restaurants where there is a need to expose your face as you munch your food. But now some states are allowing restaurants to resume indoor dining. Does this mean it is now safe to eat food inside these establishments despite the outbreak?

In Arizona and Tennessee, public health officials are still encouraging people to just prepare their own meals and eat at home while there is still no cure for the pandemic. However, in other states, restaurants are already allowing customers to dine outdoors and indoors at their establishments, per NPR.

According to Harvard Medical School physician Abraar Karan, people who have immunocompromised family members or those with COVID-19 symptoms should definitely avoid eating at restaurants at this point. This is to ensure their safety and the public’s safety as well.

However, if you do not have such concerns, you can enjoy a relaxing meal at a restaurant provided you follow safety precautions and come prepared. It is best to call the restaurant first if it has provisions that prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

Karan opined that you should choose dining outdoors instead of indoors because the latter has open air and the coronavirus droplets could disperse quickly in this setting. Moreover, outdoor setups usually have more space between tables than the indoor setting.

In case you really want to dine indoors, University of Nebraska Medical Center’s College of Public Health disease transmission expert Dr. Mark Kortepeter has shared a tip on how to do it safely. According to him, you should check if the restaurant has the necessary things to counter a possible transmission.

Restaurants that are offering indoor dining should have hand sanitizers available for customers upon entering and leaving. They should also do frequent cleaning and all of their staff should wear masks at all times. Temperature screening for the staff and the customers is also a must.

Another thing to consider is how the restaurant is following the guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tables should be 6 feet apart or more. There should also be good ventilation so that viral particles could dissipate easily. If all of these things are met, then it is safe to enjoy your meal inside the restaurant.

COVID-19 and restaurant reopening Health experts said that people should continue practicing social distancing and other safety measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in restaurants and bars. Pixabay

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