Re-Open Port A

REVISED 5/5/2020

MINIMUM STANDARD HEALTH PROTOCOLS

Checklist for RESTAURANTS

Restaurants may operate for dine-in service up to 25% of the total listed occupancy inside the restaurant, and may not offer valet services except for vehicles with placards or plates for disabled parking; outdoor dining is not subject to an occupancy limit; and restaurant employees and contractors are not counted towards the 25% occupancy limitation. This applies only to restaurants that have less than 51% of their gross sales from alcoholic beverages. Restaurants may continue to provide to-go or delivery services.

The following are the minimum recommended health protocols for all restaurants choosing to operate in Texas. Restaurants may adopt additional protocols consistent with their specific needs and circumstances to help protect the health and safety of all employees, contractors, and customers.

The virus that causes COVID-19 can be spread to others by infected persons who have few or no symptoms. Even if an infected person is only mildly ill, the people they spread it to may become seriously ill or even die, especially if that person is 65 or older with pre-existing health conditions that place them at higher risk. Because of the hidden nature of this threat, everyone should rigorously follow the practices specified in these protocols, all of which facilitate a safe and measured reopening of Texas. The virus that causes COVID-19 is still circulating in our communities. We should continue to observe practices that protect everyone, including those who are most vulnerable.

Please note, public health guidance cannot anticipate every unique situation. Restaurants should stay informed and take actions based on common sense and wise judgment that will protect health and support economic revitalization. Restaurants should also be mindful of federal and state employment and disability laws, workplace safety standards, and accessibility standards to address the needs of both workers and customers.

Health protocols for serving your customers:

  • Parties maintain at least 6 feet distance apart from other parties at all times, including while waiting to be seated in the restaurant
  • Make a hand sanitizing station available upon entry to the restaurant
  • No tables of more than 6
  • Dining:
    • Do not leave condiments, silverware, flatware, glassware, or other traditional table top items on an unoccupied table
    • Provide condiments only upon request, and in single use (non-reusable) portions
    • Use disposable menus (new for each patron)
    • If a buffet is offered, restaurant employees serve the food to customers
  • Contactless payment is encouraged. Where not available, contact should be minimized



Health protocols for your employees and contractors:

  • Train all employees and contractors on appropriate cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette
  • Screen employees or contractors before coming into the restaurant:
    • Send home any employee or contractor who has any of the following new or worsening signs or symptoms of possible COVID-19:
      • Cough
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
      • Chills
      • Repeated shaking with chills
      • Muscle pain
      • Headache
      • Sore throat
      • Loss of taste or smell
      • Diarrhea
      • Feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit
      • Known close contact with a person who is lab confirmed to have COVID-19
    • Do not allow employees or contractors with the new or worsening signs or symptoms listed above to return to work until:
      • In the case of an employee or contactor who was diagnosed with COVID-19, the individual may return to work when all three of the following criteria are met: at least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications); and the individual has improvement in symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared; or
      • In the case of an employee or contractor who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and does not get evaluated by a medical professional or tested for COVID-19, the individual is assumed to have COVID-19, and the individual may not return to work until the individual has completed the same three-step criteria listed above; or
      • If the employee or contractor has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and wants to return to work before completing the above self-isolation period, the individual must obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis.
    • Do not allow an employee or contractor with known close contact to a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19 to return to work until the end of the 14 day self-quarantine period from the last date of exposure (with an exception granted for healthcare workers and critical infrastructure workers).


  • Have employees or contractors wash or sanitize their hands upon entering the restaurant, and between interactions with customers.
  • Have employees or contractors maintain at least 6 feet separation from other individuals. If such distancing is not feasible, measures such as face covering, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, cleanliness, and sanitation should be rigorously practiced
  • Consistent with the actions taken by many restaurants across the state, consider having all employees and contractors wear cloth face coverings (over the nose and mouth). If available, employees and contractors should consider wearing non-medical grade face masks



Health protocols for your facilities:

  • Consider having an employee or contractor manage and control access to the restaurant, including opening doors to prevent patrons from touching door
  • Regularly and frequently clean and disinfect any regularly touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, tables, and chairs
  • Regularly and frequently clean restrooms, and document the cleanings
  • Disinfect any items that come into contact with< customers/li>
  • Make hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, soap and water, or similar disinfectant readily available to employees, contractors and customers
  • Place readily visible signage at the restaurant to remind everyone of best hygiene practices
  • Clean and disinfect the area used for dining (table, etc.) after each group of customers depart, including the disinfecting of tables, chairs, stalls, and countertops
  • Clean and sanitize restaurants daily
  • For restaurants with more than 10 employees and/or contractors present at one time, consider having an individual wholly or partially dedicated to ensuring the health protocols adopted by the restaurant are being successfully implemented and followed