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Restaurant Health Guidelines

The Hawaiʻi Department of Health has developed specific guidance for reopening the food services sector, meant to support restaurants, markets and food manufacturing as they prepare to resume operations during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. These recommendations are intended to be used in conjunction with the 4 phases of reopening found in the Beyond Recovery Reopening Plan, released on May 18th 2020 by the Office of the Governor.

Restaurants, markets and food manufacturers are encouraged to use these recommendations and resources to develop best practices to mitigate risk to employees and customers from COVID-19 exposure, while also maintaining compliance with all food safety regulations and physical distancing requirements. All content in this document from the Hawaiʻi Department of Health is strictly meant to be guidance and recommendations for public health and safety.


Frequently Asked Questions

According to the CDC, “Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food.”

North Carolina State University has created an informational FAQ concerning off-premises foodservice during the coronavirus. At this time, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be transmitted by food or food packaging. The FAQs are based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food & Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture

On March 3, the EPA released a list of registered disinfectant products that have qualified under its emerging viral pathogen program for use again SARS-CoV-2. You can find the list on the EPA website.

The National Resource Association maintains a list of guidelines for the safe operation of food establishments in each U.S. State. See here for the list (PDF).

Yes. Still, more and more states and localities are restraining travel, particularly during certain hours of the day, while restaurant workers need to arrive earlier than the time restrictions to make bread, brew coffee, etc., and stay pass curfew to clean, disinfect, and close the premises. Meanwhile, some restaurant workers are running into issues with law enforcement restricting workers movement to and from work. Thus, the Restaurant Law Center drafted a letter specifically for restaurant brands that an employer can give to an essential employee stating that the holder is an “Essential Critical Infrastructure Worker” under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security guidelines. Thus, the worker should be allowed to continue to or from his place of employment. The letter can be found here.

Please check back frequently to see new and updated resources.

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