As Maharashtra restaurants reopened completely from Independence day, the government has asked the restaurant owners to follow specific rules. One such direction is ensuring that all staff are vaccinated and have crossed the 14-day mark post-second vaccination. This may seem like a cumbersome step, but it is a necessary one and can genuinely help in slowing down the spread of the coronavirus.
However, not all states have implemented this rule. So, as we return to restaurants and catch up with our friends with whom we have not dined out for a while, here are a few rules to keep in mind to make your dining experience pleasant but also safe.
Firstly, make sure you are entirely vaccinated and have waited for at least two weeks before making those dinner reservations. Your vaccine is the safety suit that can protect you against the evolving new strains of COVID-19 that are doing rounds. Also, while visiting restaurants, follow all COVID protocols like wearing masks, carrying sanitizer etc.
Secondly, opt for open-air restaurants or those with COVID appropriate seating, which means six feet apart table layouts. Even as you follow these rules, remember that COVID can be transmitted through air, so ideally, keep your mask on until you begin eating. While entering and exiting, try to maintain distance from people and waiters.
Maintain hand hygiene and make sure you carry and use your sanitizer. Unfortunately, too many people touch the communal sanitizer bottle left at restaurants’ entry points. Sometimes they are not alcohol-based and are therefore not effective enough, so it is always prudent to use your personal one. However, if you, for any reason, are not carrying one or don’t feel like fishing out the bottle from the bottom of your bag, please use the one offered by restaurants.
While using the restroom, make sure you carry toilet seat sanitizer. After you have made your bathroom trip and are back in your table, remember to apply sanitizer again because you must have touched the doorknob or latch that anyone barely ever sanitizes.
Choose a restaurant which you know has good quality of food. Health is the most precious commodity now, and a pandemic is no time to scrimp on food expenses. Ideally, go to a place where the waiters wear masks and follow COVID protocols, and the plates are sterilized or cleaned properly.
Lastly, the best thing would be to get a take out and have a picnic at a park, instead of dining in a confined space. That way, you get the restaurant food, step out of home and eat at a new place, and still remain relatively safe.