Duluth Face Covering Requirements In Restaurants Clarified
On Monday, the City of Duluth approved an emergency ordinance requiring a face covering to be worn in places of public accommodation. Of course, there were questions.
The biggest question I've seen come up through social media involves when to wear a face covering inside a restaurant. Obviously, you cannot wear a face covering while you are eating and drinking, but it is important to know that face coverings are required at all other times while inside a restaurant.
This means face coverings are required when you walk into a restaurant, when you are being brought to your table, while placing your order and also while waiting for your food and drinks to arrive from the server. You must also have a properly fitted face covering while getting up to use the bathroom and while exiting the restaurant.
In essence, the only time you are not required to wear a face covering while inside a restaurant is when you are actively eating or drinking. At that time only can you remove your face covering.
As Duluth City Council member Joel Sipress, one of the authors of the ordinance, clarified to me on through a Facebook exchange, "The language requires face coverings to be worn in indoor public spaces (which would include restaurants) unless specifically exempted. There is a specific exemption while consuming food and beverage. So, if you are not consuming food or beverage, it means face covering on."
Below is a sample of the verbiage directly from the emergency ordinance that was passed unanimously by the city council. You can click here to read it in its entirety, including exceptions to the ordinance.
(a) A Space of Public Accommodation Shall Require Face Coverings Indoors. It shall be unlawful for a Space of Public Accommodation to allow a person to enter or remain indoors their Space of Public Accommodation without wearing a Face Covering.
(b) Face Covering Required Indoors a Space of Public Accommodation. It shall be unlawful for a person to enter or remain indoors a Space of Public Accommodation without wearing a Face Covering.
(c) Required Notices. Spaces of Public Accommodation shall post notice of this Face Covering requirement in conspicuous locations inside and outside entrances to their Space of Public Accommodation.