State Health & Emergency Officials Release Guidance to Prevent the Transmission of COVID-19 in Food and Beverage Venues

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SACRAMENTO, CA, March 16, 2020 – Today California officials issued guidance regarding retail food, beverage and other service venues. These venues bring people from multiple communities into close contact with each other and have the potential to increase the transmission of COVID-19.

“These are aggressive, but necessary actions to protect our communities,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “We all have a role to play when it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19. These establishments that are remaining open should think creatively about how they can continue to provide services to the community. Shifting operations to focus on pick up and delivery options should be prioritized.”

The guidance will protect individuals attending and working at these venues and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

Retail Beverage Service Venues:

  • Bars, wineries, breweries and pubs should be closed, except for venues that are currently authorized to provide off sale beer and wine to be consumed off premises are allowed.
  • This guidance is not intended to affect production of beer and wine.
  • Bars, breweries, pubs, and wineries that include meals provided by a full kitchen should follow the restaurant guidance below if they provide delivery or pick-up options


Restaurants/Cafeterias:

  • Restaurants should be closed for in-restaurant seated dining and should be open only to drive-through or other pick-up/delivery options.
  • Remind employees of best hygiene practices including washing their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Increase frequency of cleaning and sanitizing per CDC Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection guidance of all hard surfaces, including tables and counter tops that are being utilized by employees and patrons during pickup/delivery options.


Food Trucks:

  • Increase frequency of cleaning of menus, cash registers, receipt trays, condiment holders, writing instruments and other non-food contact surfaces frequently touched by patrons and employees.
  • Ensure that social distancing of six feet per person for non-family members is maintained and make clear that family members can participate together, stand in line together, etc.
  • Limiting the number of people in lines.
  • Increase frequency of cleaning and sanitizing per CDC Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection guidance of all hard surfaces.
  • Remind employees of best hygiene practices including washing their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.


Grocery Stores and Charitable Food Distribution Sites

  • The food distribution chain is critical to the public’s health.
  • Grocery stores and charitable food distribution sites should remain fully open and operational.
  • As with other settings, ensure that social distancing of six feet per person for nonfamily members is maintained and make clear that family members can participate in activities together, stand in line together, etc.
  • Social distancing of six feet per person, particularly between individuals who have come together on a one-time or rare basis.
  • Limiting the number of customers at any given time as necessary to reduce outdoor/indoor crowding and lines to meet social distancing guidance.
  • Increase cleaning and sanitizing frequency of restroom and other high contact areas.
  • Train employees on best hygiene practices including washing their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Additional opportunities throughout the venue for persons to reduce the spread of the virus through hand washing or sanitizing stations.
  • Eliminate events/marketing that target individuals that CDPH has identified as higher risk of serious illness for COVID-19.
  • Stores that have online ordering with outside pick-up or delivery options should encourage use of these when possible in lieu of indoor shopping.


Certified Farmers’ Markets

  • Space booths accordingly to increase social distancing among patrons in line and walking about the market.
  • Ensure that social distancing of six feet per person for non-family members is maintained and make clear that family members can participate in activities together, stand in line together, etc.
  • Limit the number of customers at any given time as necessary to reduce outdoor/indoor crowding and lines to meet social distancing guidance.
  • Increase cleaning and sanitizing frequency of restroom and other high contact areas.
  • Train employees on best hygiene practices including washing their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Offer additional hand washing or sanitizing stations throughout the venue.
  • Eliminate events/marketing that target individuals that CDPH has identified as higher risk of serious illness for COVID-19.
  • Encourage activities such as pre-bagging to expedite purchasing.
  • Suspend sampling activities.
  • Increase frequency of cleaning of tables, payment devices, and other surfaces.
  • Eliminate non-essential/non-related services, such as bands or other entertainment.
  • At the end of the market, continue to utilize local food recovery systems to feed/donate extra products to populations in need.
  • If applicable, continue accepting EBT payment.


The full guidance is available here.

California continues to issue guidance on preparing and protecting California from COVID-19. Consolidated guidance is available on California Department of Public Health’s Guidance page.

For more information on COVID-19 and California’s response visit the California Department of Public Health’s website.

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