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[FAQ] Answers to your questions on gatherings, 10 p.m. cutoff and weddings

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On Aug. 12, 2020, the Governor’s Office created a FAQ document clarifying some hospitality operations in Phases 2 & 3.

Here are the items specific to hospitality.

Q: Which requirements does a business have to abide by in their place of business? What about at an external location like a hotel or convention center?

A: Business activities at a business’s location must follow the Professional Services COVID-19 Requirements document. The professional services limits capacity to 50 percent of their space. However, if the business is using an external location like an event venue, it must follow the gathering limitations of the county in which the occurrence will take place.

Q: Is a construction site, restaurant, religious organization, etc. allowed to have more people on site than the relevant county’s gathering limitation?

A: Yes. If an activity has its own set of requirements and safety protocols under the Safe Start Washington Plan found here, that activity is allowed to exceed the gathering limit as long as all requirements are followed.

Q: Can you explain the live entertainment exemption for members of a household?

A: A live performer or performers is permitted to provide live entertainment if and only if all spectators are from the same household.

Q: Is live-streaming live entertainment permitted?

A: Yes. As long as spectators are removed or limited to a single household, a performer or performers can live-stream their performance. A skeleton crew is permitted to assist with the stream.

Q: Can my establishment continue to host trivia night or other similar events, or host broadcasted events?

A: No, under the memorandum, these types of activities are not permitted.

Q: Are private clubs, including fraternal organizations, required to follow the dine-in restaurant requirements?

A: Yes, these are treated synonymously with the other establishments in the memorandum (restaurants, bars, taverns, etc.). They therefore must meet all of the following to serve indoors:
a. Provide a reasonable number of menu items such as: sandwiches, salad, soup, pizza, hamburgers, fry orders, or substantial hors d’oeuvres/appetizers.
b. These menu items must be prepared onsite and may not be offered by a contractor.
c. Obtain any required food service permit/license from their local jurisdiction.

Q: Does the 10 p.m. cut-off for alcohol service apply to alcohol to-go?

A: No. The 10 p.m. cut-off is meant to limit crowds at food- and alcohol-serving establishments. If the alcohol is lawfully taken off-premises, the activity is permitted.

Q: What is the difference between bar-area seating and counter-style seating?

A: Bar-area seating is the area, often separated from the rest of the establishment, that either is the bar itself or is in the immediate vicinity. Bar-area seating is currently prohibited. Counter-style seating includes sushi bars and lunch counters, and is permitted so long as six feet of distancing between households is maintained.

Q: How does a business owner ensure that only members of the same household dine together?

A: The business owner should be certain that staff ask whether guests are from the same household. If the guests answer in the affirmative, the business has satisfied its obligation.

Q: Are members of a different household permitted to sit at tables outdoors?

A: Yes.

Q: Can a wedding ceremony have food or beverages?

A: A ceremony can have light refreshments so long as they are served during the ceremony. This does not give permission to have a pre- or post-ceremony cocktail hour or reception.

Read the official document here.