As more and more businesses begin to reopen after being shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic, many are left wondering what the proper etiquette is if you want to remain safe while visiting your favorite local spots.
If you're heading out to a restaurant, there are some things you may want to keep in mind before you grab all of your friends and prepare yourself for a boozy brunch.
Here are some mistakes you should avoid making as restaurants begin to open up again:
Don't dine with people you don't live with.
As tempting as it is to call up all of your friends and meet up for cocktails at the newly opened bar down the street, it's better to stick with your family members and roommates who you're already spending time with at home.
"Ideally, your dining companions should be your household members," Dr. Chira Doron, infectious disease physician at Tufts Medical Center told Today.
Don't go if you're experiencing any symptoms of coronavirus.
Even if your symptoms are mild, you could still be a carrier for the virus and unknowingly spread your germs to others if you go out to eat at a newly opened restaurant.
"We all need to do our part by staying away from others when we have even mild symptoms that might represent COVID-19," Doron explains.
Do your homework.
Familiarize yourself with CDC guidelines that restaurants should be following so you know if you're at an establishment that's following proper protocol to keep their diners safe.
Don't just show up.
It's best to call restaurants before showing up to see what their capacity is like. Many restaurants are opening at just 25-50% capacity, which means there's a chance you won't have a table if you should up unannounced.
Don't stay too long, and be patient.
Since restaurants are only operating at limited capacity, it would be respectful to limit your stay so they can turn the table for the next person and make more business.
In the same vein, restaurants are operating with partial staffs, meaning there could be more of a wait for your food and service. It's important to be patient in these scenarios.
Don't share your food.
As tempting as it is for your party to all go in on a basket of fries, it's better to leave the food you eat untouched by others for obvious reasons.
Spreading germs while eating at a restaurant is a huge risk, so it's important to keep your plates and food items to yourselves. Should you decide to split a dish, have the restaurant split it in the kitchen onto two separate plates.