Limited indoor seating to return to some New Hampshire restaurants

By Joe Chen | The Center Square

New Hampshire’s food services industry will be entering phase 2 of reopening June 15, which will allow some restaurants to seat people indoors.

“Indoor seated dining is allowed in Rockingham, Hillsborough, Merrimack and Strafford County,” according to the new guidance from the governor’s office. “However, seated dining at 50 percent capacity occupancy.”

Indoor seating is also allowed in Belknap, Coos, Carrol, Cheshire, Sullivan and Grafton Counties as long as there’s no more than six people at one table and all the tables are spaced out by at least six feet.

The restaurants are encouraged to have a reservation system set up for guests to prevent crowding in waiting areas.

“Establishments may use a text alert system to alert guests of available seating, an intercom system for guests waiting in their vehicles, or only one member of the party being allowed to wait in the waiting area for their table to be ready,” the guidance reads.

Bar areas are also allowed to serve guests June 15, as long as the guests stay seated – so standing and mingling in the bar areas, or playing any games like pool or darts, are not allowed yet.

Wedding receptions can also resume June 15, as long as they follow similar guidelines such as capping guests at 50 percent of the building’s max occupancy, spacing tables out, and limiting six guests per table.

Staff members must still wear cloth face masks while serving guests.

Image courtesy of Public domain