KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, announced reopening guidelines for restaurants and non-essential businesses during a press conference at City Hall.
The guidelines take effect on Friday and will remain in place through at least the end of May:
- Restaurants should not allow patrons exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 to dine or allow employees exhibiting symptoms to work
- Employees must wear protective face coverings in areas open to the public
- Restaurants are “strongly encouraged” to maintain a confidential log of names and contact information for all customers who spend more than 10 minutes at an establishment for at least 30 days, which would be used only if contact-tracing becomes necessary
- Patrons must be seated when eating or drinking with at least 10 feet of distance between tables except when bench seating is fixed
- Six feet of distance, as measured from chair back to chair back, must be maintained between different parties, including booths
- Bar seating is not permitted
- Buffet-style service is not permitted and self-service operations remain prohibited
- Dining surfaces — including tables, chairs and highchairs — must be cleaned and sanitized between customers
- Frequently touched surfaces — including doors, door handles, service counters, restrooms and waiting areas — must be cleaned and sanitized at least every 90 minutes
- Patio and outside dining is permitted as long as table- and social-distancing rules are followed, but no food preparation may take place outside
- Restaurants must follow all requirements of the Kansas City, Missouri, Food Code regarding frequency of handwashing for employees and other health recommendations, including sanitation of surfaces
- Restaurants are encouraged to continue carryout, delivery and drive-thru services to minimize contact with the public
- Restaurant patrons should wear face coverings, except when seated at tables to dine
- Disposable single-service menus are preferred, but reusable menus are permitted as long as they are cleaned and sanitized between use, when cost-prohibitive
“We continue to encourage all Kansas Citians to limit non-essential outings, to wear masks while in public and to maintain social distancing,” KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas said in a statement announcing the new guidelines. “COVID-19 remains present throughout the greater Kansas City region, with serious potential health consequences for those infected. We will continue to balance the public health and economic needs of our community as we continue our road to recovery. The guidelines we’ve announced today seek to protect restaurant patrons and employees as our region continues to grapple with the effects of this virus.”
Lucas announced new rules, which supplement the city’s 10/10/10 Rule and were designed in consultation with the KCMO Health Department.
Non-essential businesses must limit the number of patrons to 10% of the building’s occupancy or 10 people, whichever is larger.
Places like Manny's Restaurant said they are prepared to shift their entire restaurant.
"We have two very large dining rooms and we are going to have the ability to keep people very, very safe," Manny's general manager Danny Lopez said.
Manny's will not open up until Tuesday due to needing time to prepare the restaurant.
Westport Flea Market plans to opens on Friday.
"We have taken out half of our seating," Westport Flea Market owner Joe Zwillenberg said. "Most of our seats are, actually all our seats are 6 to ten feet away from everyone else per the city guidelines."
His employees will be behind plexi glass, limiting interaction as customers order at a counter.
"You are literally going to order your food and your drinks are going to be ready next to you. You will pick up your own drinks. There will not be any servers for the foreseeable future," Zwillenberg said.
Zwillenberg said this new normal will be a process, but he is happy to bring customers inside his restaurant.
"We are going to be ready to serve as many people that want to come in here and we are going to take good care of them," he said.
Businesses such as grocery stores, medical offices, dental offices and pharmacies are not subject to the 10/10/10 rule.
Businesses also should record the name and contact info of any customer who spends at least 10 minutes in the store, according to city guidelines.
Editor's note: A previous version of this story indicated restaurants AND non-essential were both subject to the 10-10-10 rule. After a clarification from the Mayor's office, restaurants are NOT subject to the 10-10-10 rule.