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When can restaurants open in Lexington


Kentucky restaurants have either been closed or only offer curbside/delivery options for the past two months. On Friday, May 22, restaurants can open their doors, but with a set of guidelines to follow.

Restaurants can only allow 33% capacity in their interior dining rooms with extended outdoor seating. Governor Beshear said restaurants should continue to provide food and beverage services via curbside, takeout, and delivery.

What exactly are the guidelines for reopening a restaurant in Kentucky during COVID?

  • restaurantsRestaurants can refuse to serve customers who won’t wear face masks in common areas, such as entering or exiting, or using the restroom.
  • Employees need to stay six feet away except when serving food or drinks.
  • All employees must wear face coverings when dealing with customers and while working, unless they are in an office alone or more than six feet from anyone. Those who cannot wear a mask for health or safety reasons don’t have to.
  • Floor plans for common dining areas should be updated and seating should be arranged to maximize the ability to social distance.
  • Reservations-only or call-ahead seating is encouraged.
  • Customers are encouraged to wait in their cars instead of waiting inside for their table.
  • Party size is limited to ten people or fewer. People not living within the same household should not be permitted to sit at the same table.
  • Tables or booths must be at least six feet apart, even outdoors.
  • Restaurants should consider installing portable or permanent non-porous physical barriers (such as Plexiglass shields) between tables.
  • Internal traffic should be modified to minimize contacts between employees and customers.
  • Limit the number of people entering the restroom at a time, as well as the number of employees and customers entering, exiting, or gathering at one time.
  • Every table and item must be sanitized between customers.
  • Restaurants should use disposable menus, napkins, table cloths, disposable utensils,and condiments. Restaurants are encouraged to use electronic menus.
  • No more salad bars or other buffet style dining.
  • Restaurants with self-service drink stations should remove any unwrapped or non-disposable items like straws or utensils, fruit, sweeteners, creamers, and any condiment containers that are not in single use, disposable packages.
  • Children’s play areas should remain closed.


Bars and gatherings of 50 people will reopen on July 1.

Click here for a list of other businesses opening in Phase Two.

Takeout and delivery options in Lexington, KY? Find a sampling of restaurants, coffee shops, and breweries still open amid COVID-19.



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