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Nashville's Roadmap for Reopening Restaurants and Bars

Apr 23, 2020

UPDATED: May 7, 2020

Mayor Cooper has ordered Phase 1 of Metro Nashville’s Roadmap for Reopening to begin May 11. Restaurants and stores can open at half capacity starting Monday.

The big  question is: how many restaurants will reopen their dining room on the first day? You can read the entire Roadmap here.

Initial reactions did not look good if you are in the market for a sitdown meal on day one.  We only found two restaurants planning to open dining rooms on day one, based upon inquiries we made within the first couple of hours of release of the Mayor’s Roadmap. 

Beginning May 11, dining rooms at restaurants and “bars serving food from a menu” can open:

  • At half-capacity
  • Physical distancing in kitchens and dining rooms
  • Screen all employees daily for temperature and respiratory symptoms
  • Employees with 100.4 fever or higher must leave immediately
  • Employees with any symptoms of illness must be tested and stay at home until negative test results
  • Create policies that make it possible for employees to isolate and quarantine
  • Clean facilities
  • Explicit guidelines to maintain hygiene
  • Cloth face masks for employees, but not required for patrons
  • Bar areas to remain closed
  • No live music
  • No self-service or shared condiments

Phase 3 adds these requirements, which appear to be left out of Phase 1, perhaps by oversight:

  • Require that restaurants clean all surfaces after single use by patron
  • Recommend use of disposable menus

Bars, entertainment and cultural venues cannot reopen until Phase 3. “This includes museums, tours, attractions, bowling alleys, movie theaters.” At half-capacity. Live music is also permitted in Phase 3 for restaurants and bars serving food.

In order to initiate the reopening plan, the city will be required to meet the following criteria:

    •  Proof of a decline or flat cases of COVID-19 over a 14-day period

    •   Adequate testing and PPE capacity in the region

    •   A robust public health infrastructure to conduct contact tracing cases

Mayor Cooper confirmed that the decision to reopen will be data driven, as opposed to date determinative. When Nashville’s Safer at Home order expires on May 9, Metro health officials will evaluate case data and other metrics collected over the past 14 days to determine if there has been a positive, stable improvement necessary to begin Phase One of the reopening plan.

From May 1 until May 8, Davidson County health data must show an average of 80 or fewer new cases per day in order to maintain or improve a downward trajectory in the 14 day metric of new cases.

Stay tuned for more news as this story develops. 

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