North Dakota bars, restaurants, gyms reopening protocols released

Published: Apr. 28, 2020 at 2:08 PM CDT
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North Dakota has released protocols for bars, restaurants, and gyms reopening Friday.

For bars and restaurants, capacity will be limited to 50%.

- There will be six feet of spacing between groups: increase table spacing by removing tables, marking tables closed or provide a physical barrier between tables. Back to back booth seating is allowed.

- Waiting areas (indoor or outdoor) must be marked, so physical distancing standards are met. Restaurants can determine policy for wait areas.

- Tables must be limited to 10 people per table.

- In-house dining areas for quick-service restaurants must meet all guidelines with tables to be sanitized between customers or if that is not possible offer only take-out.

- Standing in bars is not allowed. Barstool seating will be allowed for 1-2 guests, with six feet of separation between groups.

- Salad bars and buffets may operate as long as pre-portioned servings are prepared by staff. Buffet and salad bar in-use serving utensils are only to be used by staff and washed, rinsed and sanitized every four hours.

Bars and restaurants hygiene and cleaning/special measures:

- Drink refills are not allowed unless served in a clean, unused glass or cup.

- Menus should be single-use paper or on a material that can be sanitized after each use.

- Drink coasters should be single-use or of a material that can be sanitized after each use.

- Tabletop electronics for ordering or contactless payments must be sanitized after each use.

- No self-service cups, straws or lids will be allowed – they should be behind the counter and handed to the customer. Only individually wrapped straws are allowed.

- Self-service condiments should be eliminated and provided by request in single-use or disposable containers.

- Blackjack tables will remain closed. Gaming machines must be separated by a minimum distance of 6 feet or placed out of service.

Hand-held entertainment or reservation notification devices are not allowed.

- Dance floors are closed

- Encourage customers to download the Care19 App to increase success levels with contact tracing.

- During phase I, all restaurants should close for a minimum of 4 hours daily to deep clean.

- Gym gathering size, physical distancing and workplace activity:

- Limit group fitness classes to one participant/staff per 100 square feet (SF) or 10’x10’ grid layout if providing markers on floor area(s).

- Close or cordon off gathering areas like vestibules, seating areas, bleachers, etc. where people can congregate in groups larger than 10.

- Suspend or discontinue drop-in childcare until such time as social distancing measures are no longer in place.

- Limit the use of saunas, jacuzzi, hot tubs, steam rooms, etc. to 1 person per 100 SF.

- Discontinue group sports (basketball, soccer, hockey, etc.) where more than 10 participants are playing at the same time, including participants on the bench or on shifts until such time social distancing recommendations are suspended.

- Omit fitness classes with high inhalation/exhalation exchange, like spin for example, until such time they can be safely incorporated back into class offerings.

- Relocate, remove, or deter the use of fitness equipment to provide a minimum distance of six feet between equipment edges.

- Manage customer entry points. Provide markers for lines to allow a minimum of six feet separation until such time social distancing recommendations are suspended.

- Manage building square footage into sub-areas of less than or equal to 10,000 SF for the purpose of developing a phased re-opening of certain sub-areas that are lower risk being prioritized first and allowing higher risk areas to remain closed until such time health data supports reopening. For example, a 120,000 SF building would yield 12 sub-areas.

- Complete and have on file the “Workplace Assessment Tool for COVID-19.”

- Suspend 24-hour facility use, until such time social distancing recommendations are suspended. One-to-one personal training may be utilized while maintaining social distancing and, when possible, the trainer wears a mask.

- Conduct Pre-Registration for fitness class(es) with special instructions and self-verification process and request participant arrival a minimum of 5 minutes prior to the scheduled start of fitness class(es).

- Develop or encourage online fitness participation, if practical, until such time, social distancing recommendations are suspended.

To learn more about the guidelines visit

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