Outdoor dining guidelines released for W.Va. restaurant owners, patrons

Outdoor dining will be allowed in West Virginia, with restrictions, beginning May 4.
Outdoor dining will be allowed in West Virginia, with restrictions, beginning May 4.(WHSV)
Published: May. 1, 2020 at 4:56 PM EDT
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Guidance has been issued to restaurants in West Virginia to allow for outside dining, as well as the carryout they’ve been allowed to offer during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the document that is part of Gov. Jim Justice’s plan called “West Virginia Strong: The Comeback,” all restaurants are encouraged to use proper social distancing measures.

Outdoor dining is allowed to begin in West Virginia on Monday, May 4. To read more,


The document says that social distancing of at least 6 feet must be in effect, parties are limited to groups of six per table, and no congregating in waiting areas is allowed. Live music and the use of restaurant playgrounds are also prohibited.

Guests will only be allowed to enter the restaurant to use the restroom or pick up a carryout order. A call-ahead seating model is encouraged where it’s practical, and menus must be disposable. If that is not a feasible option, they are to be cleaned between uses.

According to the guidelines, all employees must wear face-coverings, and they must be disposed of or washed between uses.

Disposable plates and utensils are encouraged, along with cans or bottles for drinks. Otherwise, disposable cups are recommended. Patrons will be asked to dispose of their trash to help minimize the contact with wait staff.

According to the document, "restaurants across the state have abided by orders that have made carryout a safe experience for customers and staff has “served their communities well and worked to keep the citizens of West Virginia Safe.”

The guidelines say restaurants that do not comply with the orders could have their license suspended.