More Colorado Counties Lift Restaurant Rules

El Paso, Mesa, and Weld counties have lifted all restaurant restrictions.

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Silhouette of cowboy on horseback wearing a cowboy hat and brandishing a pistol against a red and orange sunset.
Grab your six-shooter and get rid of six-foot distancing. Things are crazy out there. / Copyright: Narit Bualuang

It’s the Wild West. El Paso, Mesa, and Weld counties are the latest to remove all restaurant restrictions (though Colorado’s statewide mask mandate is still in effect through at least May 3). Eagle, La Plata, and Larimer counties are taking a slower route by loosening, but not eliminating, restrictions.

The following information comes from the Colorado Restaurant Association’s April 15 newsletter. Sign up to receive the full version here. And take a gander at its Coronavirus Resource Center (which includes all individual county guidelines as the CRA becomes aware of them) and Restaurant Worker’s Guide to the COVID-19 Vaccine for more info. 

State Retires Dial April 16; El Paso, Mesa, and Weld Counties Remove COVID-19 Restrictions for Restaurants

As of Friday, April 16, the State will be retiring the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment-issued COVID-19 State dial and turning over authority of COVID-19 operating restrictions to local public health departments. We want to help  restaurateurs in every Colorado county navigate the rollout of the resulting public health orders and will continue to provide information as it is released. Things are changing so quickly county by county.  We are doing our best to keep you updated; however, for the most up to date information, we encourage you to go to your own county health department’s website for more information.

We are compiling guidance for all counties that have announced their new plans on our website here, including others that are lifting restrictions (like Douglas).

Effective April 16, El Paso, Mesa, and Weld counties, like Douglas County, have opted to waive all mandated COVID-19 restrictions, allowing restaurants to determine the best operating practices for their businesses, their guests, and their workers.

View Mesa County’s “Free to Choose Resolution” here

Guests and employees of El Paso, Mesa, and Weld County restaurants must still adhere to the statewide mask mandate which requires masks in indoor public spaces in all counties except those with a COVID rate that would qualify them for Level Green on the State’s dial. This mask order expires on May 3, at which point the State will reevaluate its mask policy. 

Counties Implement COVID-19 Restrictions: Eagle, La Plata, and Larimer Announce Updates

In response to the lift of statewide COVID-19 business restrictions, some counties have implemented their own regulations for businesses. Today, we received word that Eagle, La Plata, and Larimer counties will be establishing county-wide guidance, in addition to Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, and Jefferson Counties that announced their regional plan yesterday.

New regulations for restaurants in Eagle County effective April 16:

  • Mask are still required for anyone over the age of two in all public indoor environments.
  • Restaurants may operate at up to 50% occupancy or 150 people, whichever is less. 6 feet of distance must be maintained between parties.
  • Indoor unseated events may operate at up to  50% occupancy or 150 people. 6 feet of distance must be maintained between parties. Application approval required.
  • Indoor seated events may operate at up to 50% occupancy or 150 people. 6 feet of distance must be maintained between parties. Application approval is required.
  • Outdoor unseated events may operate at up to 50% occupancy or 175 people. 6 feet of distance must be maintained between parties. Face coverings and application approval are required.
  • Outdoor seated events may operate at up to 50% occupancy or 175 people. 6 feet of distance must be maintained between parties. Application approval and face coverings required.

New regulations for restaurants in La Plata County effective April 16:

  • Restaurants may remove 6-foot distancing between parties in their outdoor dining spaces.
  • 6-foot distancing is still required between parties indoors.
  • Statewide mask mandate is still in effect.

Larimer County will move from Level Yellow to Level Blue effective April 16:

  • Restaurants can operate at up to 100% capacity with 6 feet between parties and must adhere to last call at 2 a.m. for all alcohol sales.
  • Bars that do not provide full meals can operate at up to 25% capacity or 75 people per room, whichever is fewer.
  • Indoor unseated events and entertainment can accommodate 50% capacity or 175 people per room, whichever is fewer.
  • Indoor seated events and entertainment can accommodate 100% capacity with 6-foot distancing between parties.
  • Outdoor seated and unseated events and entertainment can accommodate 100% capacity with 6-foot distancing between parties.
  • Large events – defined as any indoor or outdoor event or gathering with more than 500 attendees – must submit plans to their county’s public health department. 
  • Statewide mask mandate is still in effect.

We will continue to announce counties’ public health orders as they are released; however, for the most up to date information, we encourage you to go to your own county health department’s website for more information.

Action Required: Mesa County 5-Star Certification Program

In addition to their “Free to Choose Resolution,” Mesa County will uphold its 5 Star Certification Program, with new implications for certified businesses. The county is asking certified businesses to indicate by noon on Friday, April 16 whether or not they would like to remain a 5 Star partner. 

Businesses that choose to remain certified must adhere to the following:

  • Employers require that staff wear masks orprovide proof of vaccine.
  • Masks are required for patrons and vendors when entering, exiting, and moving about.
  • Maintain a minimum of 3 feet of social distance between parties in indoor seating areas (approximately 5 feet between table-tops).
  • Provide easy and convenient access to hand hygiene stations.
  • Employees should self-monitor for COVID-like symptoms.
  • The business has standard operating procedures for cleaning and disinfecting.
  • The facility follows any special considerations applicable to its establishment, including practices outlined by the applicable regulatory body.

Benefits for restaurants that remain 5 Star partners are:

  • Continued marketing and ads on behalf of 5 Star partners.
  • Increasing recognition of partners on available platforms (social media, website, spotlight features).
  • Technical assistance, needed signs, and other resources.

Please respond to the form here.

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