With vaccine rollout happening mostly according to plan, the end of the pandemic is in sight. Once a significant proportion of the population is vaccinated, we will be heading towards herd immunity and the end of this long saga. However, that does not mean we’ll go back to normal all that soon.
The reality is that the vaccines are not 100% effective. It’s still unclear at what point the virus will be eradicated (if it will ever be entirely wiped out) and even with the country opening up, you may prefer to be safe than sorry.
This does not mean that regulations will stay in place, but the level of care you take will be a personal choice. Some people will be happy to sit in crowded restaurants, while others will want a bit of breathing room.
If you are among the latter, here are some tips for staying safe in restaurants after the pandemic.
Sit at the bar
In a restaurant that is not overcrowded, the bar can actually be a pretty safe place to sit. If you are out with just one or two other people, you can create your own small ecosystem at the bar. After all, instead of waiters passing by every table and other patrons being all around you, you come face-to-face with one server and no one else occupies that space.
If you are furnishing your own restaurant, consider bar stools as a great way to safely seat customers. You can also go with backless bar stools for the main tables if you want a chic pub look, similar to the Kingfish Pub & Cafe in Oakland in the photo above.
Bring your own sanitizer
Many restaurants will continue to follow COVID protocols, regarding sanitizing chairs and tables, as well as cutlery. However, not all of them will see the need. Furthermore, waiters may become more lax, even if the restaurant technically still follows the protocols.
Bring your own sanitizer with you if you are concerned about COVID-19. It’s easier than asking the staff for it, especially since it may come across as disrespectful to staff and owners who are trying their best to keep their patrons safe.
Sitting outdoors remains the safest way to avoid infection from COVID-19 when eating at a restaurant. We know that the virus is airborne, and so even with excess care, you may be vulnerable indoors. This is especially true if the restaurant is seeing a post-COVID boom and is packed to capacity.
As we are approaching summer, it is a good time to sit outdoors at a restaurant – warm but not too hot. You might as well make the most of the good weather.
Wear masks when ordering
You can’t wear a mask when you’re eating, of course, and sitting at a restaurant feels a bit unsafe because of this. However, if you wear your mask when the waiter is taking your order, you will feel somewhat safer.
The virus is not going away overnight, and some people may understandably still feel unsafe eating out in the near future. Follow the above tips to give yourself peace of mind in a post-COVID world.