Stage 4 – Mask Mandates and More Seating for Restaurants? Think Again
Restaurants and Churches were pleased with the Governor's recent announcement that Maine had moved into Stage 4 but a further reading of the rules is going to temper that enthusiasm.
Prior to the Governor's announcement on October 6th, Churches and Restaurants with separate entrances could have 50 people in each room. A careful reading of the Frequently Asked Question page now shows that the limit is 100 for the entire building, and if you're a restaurant, that includes service personnel, but does not include kitchen staff.
What types of businesses fall under seated service?
Restaurants, bars, tasting rooms, fast food restaurants with seating, social clubs, movie theaters, other entertainment venues with seating, churches and other religious organizations’ sites. Restaurants already open must adopt to this new guidance by October 13th. Bars and tasting rooms may newly reopen for indoor service on November 2nd. As with all reopening guidance, this is subject to a review of the quantitative and qualitative public health measures of COVID-19 transmission.
Can we still use multiple rooms like we have been safely doing all summer?
The total occupancy of an establishment (combining indoor maximum of 100 and outdoor maximum of 100) must not exceed 200 people.
And for masks and medical exemptions...This is clearly spelled out
Do I have to require a mask if someone says they have a medical condition?
A person not wearing a required face covering who seeks to enter an establishment shall first be informed of the face covering requirements and given a chance to comply by putting on either a cloth face covering or plastic face shield. If that person continues to refuse and asserts a medical condition as the reason for the refusal, the operator of the establishment may offer alternative means of service at curbside or delivery if available as an accommodation, but may not permit the person to enter without a face covering. The establishment operator shall not ask for the nature of the medical condition, or ask for proof.
Will law enforcement help my employees if a customer becomes belligerent regarding required masks?
Yes since the executive order on required face coverings has the force of law.