Out With Masks, in With Customers

Major mask news, and more Colorado counties drop capacity and distancing regulations.

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Bearded man and brunette woman standing close together while he touches her face and gives a sexy look to the camera. Black background.
Denver-area restaurants now have the government's permission to seat customers as close together as they want. / Copyright: Volodymyr Tverdokhlib

Good news! According to the state of Colorado, the pandemic is over! At least, it’s over enough that no one is required to wear masks or social distance anymore. So operators across the state are now in charge of enforcing their own mask regulations—that should be fun for all involved—and a chunk of Denver metro-area joints are now free to move their their tables six inches (not feet!) away from each other and pack customers in at the bar like it’s New Year’s Eve 2019. (That’s assuming you have enough staff to run a full restaurant.)

The following information comes from the CRA’s May 14 newsletter. Sign up to receive the full version here.

Governor Polis Drops State Mask Mandate

Governor Polis announced in a press conference on May 14, that the State of Colorado will no longer require individuals to wear masks in public indoor or outdoor spaces, effective immediately.

Through June 1, masks are still required at gatherings where there are more than 500 people present. Masks are also required in healthcare settings, schools, jails, and in any other businesses that choose to require them – which includes restaurants. Meaning, if you would prefer to require guests to wear masks upon entry or when walking through your business, it is within your legal right to do so.

Denver County is adopting this new mask policy at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, May 16, when it enters Level Clear.

In other words, restaurants are no longer required to enforce mask wearing by guests unless you choose to do so. The Governor emphasized that it is within a business’ right to uphold their own policies regarding masks.

The Governor also suggested that unvaccinated individuals wear masks in indoor settings when around other people, but that is no longer a requirement.  

Denver Metro Counties Move to Level Clear, Removing Spacing Restrictions

As of Sunday, May 16, several Metro area counties moved into the new Level Clear, which removes all local pandemic capacity and spacing restrictions and mitigation strategies, including 6-foot distancing between parties. These counties are as follows:

  • Adams
  • Arapahoe
  • Boulder
  • Broomfield
  • Denver
  • Jefferson

Level Clear will remain in effect until August 16, 2021. Counties can be moved from Level Clear to a more restrictive level during this 90-day observation period if hospital admissions of county residents exceeds two per 100,000 over a 14-day period.

This means that the entire state of Colorado removed all mandated COVID-related restrictions as of Sunday, May 16, at 12:01 a.m.

Read more about your county’s public health order here

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