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State Fire Marshal advises food service industry on reopening procedures

State Fire Marshal
Posted at 8:47 PM, Apr 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-30 17:32:10-04

The Louisiana State Fire Marshal's Office has released an interpretive memo to help those in the food service industry with the limited reopening of outdoor seating areas. It clarifies the new order that will be released on May 1.

Approved outdoor seating areas, including balconies and rooftops, must reduce outdoor capacity to 25% of that allowed by the State Fire Marshal; space tables a minimum of 10 feet apart; limit table groups to 10 individuals; and eliminate gatherings in the building when entering or exiting outdoor seating area.

Open areas and temporary tents have to abide by different rules, including having two remotely located exits if barriers (fences, barricades, etc.) exist, and having a state approved fire extinguisher within 75 feet of tent area.

Per the Louisiana Department of Health, restaurant employees should wear cloth face coverings while working in restaurants. LDH also has advised restaurants on recommended cleaning practices and products. High touch surfaces that should be disinfected include doorknobs, countertops, handles, toilets, etc.

Restaurants that are in a city or parish that is still prohibiting restaurants to open may not operate, as some local jurisdictions can be more restrictive. Restroom services inside restaurants are allowed.

Regarding face coverings, the State Fire Marshal's Office says face masks are required for all restaurant employees, especially in situations where social distancing can't be maintained. Guests are not required to wear masks, but the public is being strongly encouraged to do so by the CDC.

You can read the full memo below:

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