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[Outdated] Starting July 30: Big changes for taverns, breweries, wineries and distilleries

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Note: The information below was altered by new guidance from the Governor’s Office on July 31, 2020. Taverns, breweries, wineries and distilleries can now offer indoor service in Phases 2 and 3 if they meet certain requirements. The information below is for archive purposes only.

On July 24, 2020, Gov. Jay Inslee announced hospitality businesses with four license types must end indoor dining operations to reduce the increasing number of coronavirus cases spreading in Washington state. These four license types include taverns, breweries, wineries and distilleries.

The new restrictions on these license types takes effect July 30, 2020.

The information below, unless otherwise noted, was provided by the Governor’s Office on July 24, 2020.

  • Indoor service at taverns, breweries, wineries and distilleries is prohibited until Phase 4.
  • If a brewery or winery also has a restaurant endorsement, it may continue restaurant operations pursuant to the safety requirements for restaurants.

General requirements that also apply to taverns, breweries, wineries and distilleries with outdoor service

Restaurants, taverns, breweries, wineries and distilleries must adopt a written procedure that is at least as strict as the requirements in this document and that complies with the appropriate safety and health requirements and guidelines established by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries and the Washington State Department of Health.

Taverns, breweries, wineries and distilleries must follow all measures established by the governor’s guidance, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) Coronavirus (COVID19) Prevention: General Requirements and Prevention Ideas for Workplaces and the Washington State Department of Health Workplace and Employer Resources & Recommendations (DOH).

Face masks

All businesses are required to make their customers use cloth face coverings when interacting with their staff. If a customer or visitor who is not wearing a face covering attempts to enter, businesses are encouraged take the following steps:

  • A business representative or employee should politely educate the customer or visitor about the public health requirement to wear a mask or face covering. Businesses may choose to keep a supply of disposable masks to offer customers who do not have one.
  • Businesses may ask – but are not required to ask – if an individual has a condition that exempts them from the requirements, but cannot inquire about an individual’s underlying health or medical conditions.

Additional requirements

  1. Hand sanitizer should be available at entry for all staff and patrons (assuming supply availability).
  2. Have protocols in place to ensure adequate social distancing at food and/or drink pick-up stations, and within the seating area.
  3. Tables must be placed far enough apart when measured from occupied chair to occupied chair, to ensure guests seated at a table are a minimum of 6 feet away from guests at adjacent table, or there must be a physical barrier or wall separating tables.
  4. All sales, service and consumption of alcohol, including beer, wine and spirits must end at 10 p.m. until Phase 4.
  5. Vending and other game areas, including billiards, darts and video games, are prohibited until Phase 4.
  6. No bar-area seating is permitted. This is the area with a bar table/counter where patrons sit or stand side-by-side. If an establishment has bar area seating it must be closed off to prohibit use.
  7. Customers must wear a cloth face covering anytime they are not seated (while being seated or leaving, or while going to the restroom) and while they are talking at tables and not eating or drinking.
  8. Single-use menus or reusable menus that are sanitized after each use are required. Minimize the number of staff serving any given table. It is strongly recommended that one staff person take a table’s order, bring all of their beverages/food/utensils, take their payment, etc.
  9. All establishments must have implemented a plan to ensure proper physical distancing in lobby/waiting areas/payment counters.
  10. Standing is prohibited in any area of establishment, except for the lobby/waiting area and then must be done while maintaining 6 feet of distance between patrons.
  11. All live entertainment is prohibited.
  12. For liquor licensees who want to add outdoor seating to their premises, please go to the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board website, here, to access the Liquor Alterations Request Form. Please submit completed forms to liqouralterations@lcb.wa.gov.

New requirements for taverns, breweries, wineries and distilleries with outdoor service

  1. No indoor service is permitted until Phase 4.
  2. For outdoor seating, a temporary structure may be used. Outdoor structures (temporary or permanent) should have no more than two walls to provide appropriate ventilation. The limitation on walls applies to both rigid and flexible walls.
  3. Guest occupancy is limited to 50% capacity.
  4. All parties and tables must be limited to five guests or fewer.
  5. If a brewery or winery also has a restaurant endorsement, it may continue restaurant operations pursuant to the safety requirements for restaurants.

Workplace safety and health requirements reminders

All tavern, brewery, winery and distillery owners have a general obligation to maintain a safe and healthy workplace in accordance with state and federal law and safety and health rules for a variety of workplace hazards. In addition, they must comply with the following coronavirus worksite-specific safety practices as outlined in Gov. Jay Inslee’s Safe Start Proclamation 20-25.4, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries General Requirements and Prevention Ideas for Workplaces, and the Washington State Department of Health Workplace and Employer Resources and Recommendations.

All businesses are required to post signage at the entrance requiring their customers to use cloth face coverings. Employer-owners must specifically ensure operations follow the main L&I coronavirus requirements to protect professional employee-service providers. Employers must specifically ensure operations follow the main L&I coronavirus requirements to protect workers, including:

  • Educate workers in the language they understand best about coronavirus and how to prevent transmission and the employer’s coronavirus policies.
  • Maintain minimum six-foot separation between all employees (and customers) in all interactions at all times. When strict physical distancing is not feasible for a specific task, other prevention measures are required, such as use of barriers, minimize staff or customers in narrow or enclosed areas, stagger breaks and stagger work shift starts.
  • Provide personal protective equipment such as gloves, goggles, face shields and face masks as appropriate or required to employees for the activity being performed. Cloth facial coverings must be worn by every employee not working alone on the jobsite unless their exposure dictates a higher level of protection under Department of Labor & Industries safety and health rules and guidance. Refer to Coronavirus Facial Covering and Mask Requirements for additional details. A cloth facial covering is described in the Department of Health guidance.
  • Ensure frequent and adequate hand washing with adequate maintenance of supplies. Use disposable gloves where safe and applicable to prevent transmission on tools or other items that are shared.
  • Establish a housekeeping schedule that includes frequent cleaning and sanitizing with a particular emphasis on commonly touched surfaces.
  • Screen employees for signs/symptoms of coronavirus at start of shift. Make sure sick employees stay home or immediately go home if they feel or appear sick. Cordon off any areas where an employee with probable or confirmed coronavirus worked, touched surfaces, etc. until the area and equipment is cleaned and sanitized. Follow the cleaning guidelines set by the CDC to deep clean and sanitize.

A site-specific COVID-19 supervisor shall be designated by the employer at each job site to monitor the health of employees and enforce the COVID-19 job site safety plan.

A worker may refuse to perform unsafe work, including hazards created by coronavirus. And, it is unlawful for their employer to take adverse action against a worker who has engaged in safety- protected activities under the law if their work refusal meets certain requirements.

Employees who choose to remove themselves from a worksite because they do not believe it is safe to work due to the risk of exposure may have access to certain leave or unemployment benefits.

Employers must provide high-risk individuals covered by Proclamation 20-46 with their choice of access to available employer-granted accrued leave or unemployment benefits if an alternative work arrangement is not feasible. Other employees may have access to expanded family and medical leave included in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, access to use unemployment benefits, or access to other paid time off depending on the circumstances. Additional information is available here.

No tavern, brewery, winery or distillery may operate until they can meet and maintain all the requirements in this document, including providing materials, schedules and equipment required to comply.

How to: Convert your license to a Spirits/Beer/Wine Restaurant License or Beer/Wine Restaurant License

 

  • When converting to a Spirits/Beer/Wine Restaurant License or Beer/Wine Restaurant License, you must submit an email to retailliquorlicensing@lcb.wa.gov. Please indicate in the subject line of your email that you are requesting to convert your business to a Spirits/Beer/Wine Restaurant or Beer/Wine Restaurant, as applicable.
  • You will be assigned to a licensing specialist that will request the following documents:
    • Menus – For a Spirits/Beer/Wine Restaurant License, all menus are required to meet the food standards contained in WAC 314-02-035. For a Beer/Wine Restaurant License, all menus must meet the minimum food service requirements as defined at WAC 314-02-010(14).
    • Floor plans – Required for Spirits/Beer/Wine and Beer/Wine Restaurant License applicants if they plan to serve persons of all ages. Floor plans are not required for Spirits/Beer/Wine and Beer/Wine Restaurant License applicants if they plan to serve only persons over the age of 21.
  • To be approved, the applicant must meet all the requirements for a Spirits/Beer/Wine Restaurant License or a Beer/Wine Restaurant License. For more information about these requirements, please see the WSLCB’s Retail Fee and Description Sheet.
  • If approved, you will receive an approval letter confirming the changes via email.