AUSTIN, Texas — By the end of the week, Texas restaurants will be allowed to reopen their dining rooms with some restrictions.
When May 1 arrives, restaurant dining rooms must maintain only up to 25% occupancy.
And with the new rules come questions. One question a KVUE viewer had was whether restaurants will require employees to check their temperature before each shift.
Page 27 of the governor's "Strike Force to Open Texas Report - Texans Helping Texans" lays out the minimum standard health protocols for restaurants. It says employees should be screened before coming into work, and they should be sent home if they are "feeling feverish" or have "a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.00 Farhenheit." There is also a list of other symptoms and requirements for employees if they start to feel ill.
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KVUE viewers also wanted to know why restaurant employees are not required to wear masks when serving.
We can't answer the "why," but according to the report, employees must maintain at least six feet separation from other individuals and "if such distancing is not feasible, measures such as face covering, hand hygiene, cough etiquette, cleanliness and sanitation should be rigorously practiced."
One other question: Are people dining out supposed to wear masks while they're eating?
Currently, there are no requirements for wearing a face covering in the governor's order, but doing so is recommended.
At Freda's Seafood Grille, owner Freda Cheng said she will have all of her staff wear masks.
"My staff need money to survive to, you know, take care of their family," Cheng said. "I'll be here every day to monitor make sure everybody – all the safety."
On Tuesday, the staff was deep cleaning the restaurant, which has a max capacity of around 300 seats with separate dining areas inside and a large outdoor patio.
Cheng said in each section, there would only be up to six to eight tables allowed to be filled and all of them will be spread out.
She added all of her staff will have their temperatures taken, have gloves and masks when serving – which they will switch often – and when people walk over to their tables, there will be almost nothing on them, as almost everything used will be disposable, including menus.
Customers will have the choice to wear a mask and the choice to have regular or disposable silverware. Bathrooms will also be continuously cleaned, according to Cheng.
"We're very happy but we don't know how it's going go. But we're going to do the best we can," Cheng said.
There are also Austin restaurants who said they don't feel ready to open up just yet.
At Conan's Pizza, an email was sent out asking customers to take a survey and tell them if they feel comfortable dining in. For now, Conan's is still doing take out and delivery.
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