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The recent surge of COVID-19 cases has prompted state and local officials to make difficult decisions about to how to reduce transmission in the community.

We continue to support aggressive steps to protect the nation’s public health. But there is an unfounded impression that restaurants are a critical “superspreader” of COVID-19, and the hospitality industry is suffering as a result of inconsistent, restrictive mandates.

National Restaurant Association CEO Tom Bené sent the following recommendations to the United States Conference of Mayors and the National Governors Association:

  • Regulations and decisions regarding restaurant operations should be based on facts and contract-tracing data, not hypothetical simulations of transmission.
  • When restrictive regulations are imposed, such as capacity restrictions or shutdowns, it should be clear what health metrics must be achieved to return to the previous level.
  • Restaurant operations should be treated the same as other retail establishments. Shutting down indoor dining should be considered a last option.
  • If a shutdown is mandated, restaurants should be recognized as essential businesses and remain open for off-premise sales (e.g., takeout, delivery, and drive-through), as well as outdoor dining.
  • Restaurants should receive as much advance notice as possible of changing regulations.

To read the letters in their entirety, please visit Restaurants Act 

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