Published On: Tue, May 12th, 2020

Businesses Re-Open Under Strict Requirements to Protect Public from Resurgence of COVID-19

Hair salons, barber shops and nail salons in Palm Beach County were given the green light to re-open on on Monday. However, they are being required to restrict occupancy to 50 percent of building capacity.

They are also being urged to follow measures developed to to prevent a resurgence of the new coronavirus.

Those measures include:

  • Requiring clients make appointments (no walk-ins).
  • Avoid group appointments increasing occupancy beyond the allowed limit during the same time periods.
  • Ensure regular sanitizing regime is applied to work stations and equipment between clients.
  • Requiring employees to wear face coverings while within close proximity of clients.
  • Encourage clients to wear face coverings when inside the premises, (providing face coverings upon request).
  • Post signs to asking clients not to gather outside the establishment.
  • Remove all magazines, newspapers and unnecessary décor from customer service areas.

While bars, pubs, and nightclubs with 50 percent or more of their revenue generated from the sale of alcohol must remain closed, restaurants in Palm Beach County were allowed to re-open for dine-in customers on Monday under these rules designed to promote health and #SocialDistancing.

The following are the current rules under which they may operate:

  • They can operate at 25 percent capacity, enforcing appropriate #SocialDistancing with no less than 6 feet separating parties.
  • Parties are not to exceed 10 people.
  • Inside waiting areas for patrons waiting areas must be limited (reservations are strongly suggested).
  • Tables and other areas must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each use.
  • Outdoor dining areas should be prioritized.
  • Signs should be posted to remind staff and patrons of COVID-19 safety and sanitizing protocols.
  • Employees should be screened before work. Employees are strongly urged to wear face coverings while in close proximity to customers.
  • Bar areas should remain closed.
  • Laminated menus should be sanitized after use. Paper menus, designed for single use, should be disposed of immediately after use.
  • Cafeteria-style dining arrangements should be avoided. Where are buffet is offered, efforts to mitigate must be employed including barriers to block sneezes and coughs. Service utensils should be handled by staff and/or washed frequently.

The City of Boca Raton has announced rules for temporary outdoor dining to facilitate better health during the emergency. The City has advised any restaurant wishing to establish new or additional outdoor dining areas in order to operate consistent with State of Florida Executive Order Nos. 20-112 and 20-120 (are any amendment or superseding order), can email [email protected] with the following information:

Name and address of restaurant (including any unit or suite number, where applicable);

Valid City of Boca Raton Business Tax Receipt (attach to email);

If the restaurant does not have a valid Business Tax Receipt email [email protected] to begin the process of obtaining one;

Number of pre-emergency indoor seats at the restaurant;

Number of pre-emergency outdoor seats at the restaurant;

Number of indoor seats with Executive Order restrictions (no more than 25 percent of building occupancy);

Days and hours the new/additional outdoor seating will be used;

Landlord/property owner authorization for new/additional outdoor seating (an email from the landlord/property owner is sufficient);

Date use new/additional outdoor seating is proposed to begin;

A statement indicating the operator understands and will follow the requirements of Executive Order Nos. 20-112 and 20-120, and the addition rules provided below;

If the proposed new or additional outdoor seating includes parking spaces or other areas designed for or typically utilized by vehicles (“Vehicular Use Areas”), submit a drawing (which can be hand-drawn on, for example, an aerial photo printed from Google Maps or similar service) showing the location of Vehicular Use Areas to be used, a safe path to and from one or more doors of the restaurant to the Vehicular Use Areas, and any barrier or other method proposed protecting the Vehicular Use Areas from vehicular encroachment;

Additionally, if operation of the outdoor seating is proposed during other than daylight hours, state how lights or other methods will be used to ensure that drivers are aware of and can avoid the outdoor dining in the Vehicular Use Areas;

Where the proposed outdoor seating DOES NOT include Vehicular Use Areas, staff will verify all required information has been provided, and will send a reply email stating the restaurant has been registered for the new/additional outdoor seating; 

Upon receipt of the email, the new/additional outdoor seating will be approved to begin operation; 

City staff will subsequently visit the establishment to assist the operator in assuring compliance with all applicable rules;

Where the proposed outdoor seating DOES include Vehicular Use Areas, staff will verify all required information has been provided, and will route the proposal for review by Zoning and Fire-Rescue Services staff, which will review the proposal within one business day; 

If the review results in approval, staff will send a reply email stating the restaurant has been approved for the new/additional outdoor seating, will state any conditions of approval (if applicable), and will state that the operator must call to schedule an inspection; 

City staff will inspect the new/additional outdoor seating at the scheduled time. The restaurant owner or restaurant manager must be present in order to immediately address any compliance issues; 

If the inspection is approved, an email will be sent stating the new/additional outdoor seating is approved to begin operation;

Registration/approval of temporary new/additional outdoor seating shall be in effect for such time as capacity reductions for indoor seating remain in effect, or until such time as the City suspends, terminates or amends these procedures;

Rules Applicable to Temporary New/Additional Restaurant Outdoor Seating During COVID-19 Emergency;

New/additional outdoor seating must comply with all applicable state and local laws and ordinances, including but not limited to the Florida Building Code and Florida Fire Prevention Code; 

New/additional outdoor seating must comply with all State of Florida Executive Orders, including but not limited to Executive Order Nos. 20-112 and 20-120 (as such executive orders may be amended or superseded);

All sidewalks or other pedestrian paths must maintain a three foot wide clear pedestrian path;

A minimum of six feet distance must be maintained between tables, individual diners, and/or groups;

All tables or other grouping of seats shall be limited to a maximum of 10 chairs, and no groups larger than 10 persons shall be seated;  

Establishments shall not create groups greater than 10;

Any physical improvements in connection with the provision of new/additional outdoor seating that require a City permit shall be established and inspected only pursuant to such City permit;

New/additional outdoor seating shall not block any established exits from any building;

Fire lanes shall not be blocked, and required fire access must be maintained;

Temporary outdoor bars are prohibited.

About the Author

- Robert Weinroth is a 27 year resident of Boca Raton where he is an attorney, businessman, former member of the City Council (where he served for four years) and currently serves as an elected member of the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners. Commissioner Weinroth went to Boston’s Northeastern University where he earned a BSBA in Management. He went on to earn his Juris Doctor at New England School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey and the Supreme Court of the United States. Weinroth served as president and general counsel of Freedom Medical Services Inc, an accredited medical supply company in Boca Raton. FREEDOMED® represented the realization of an entrepreneurial dream. Weinroth, and his wife Pamela operated the company for 16 years, eventually selling the business in 2016. Weinroth takes great pride in his past work as a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for the 15th Judicial Circuit, advocating for the needs of abused and neglected children deemed dependent by the Court. After serving on multiple community boards and committees, Weinroth was elected to the Boca Raton City Council in 2014. During his tenure, he served as CRA Vice-chair and Deputy Mayor and was appointed to a number of county boards including the Boca Raton Airport Authority, the Palm Tran Service Board, the Palm Beach Transportation Planning Agency, the Treasure Coast Planning Council and was elected a board member of the Palm Beach County League of Cities. Commissioner Weinroth serves as County Vice-Mayor and has been appointed Chair of the Solid Waste Authority, a board member of the PBC Transportation Planning Agency, and alternate representative on the Treasure Coast Planning Agency and several other county and regional boards. Robert, Pamela and their two dogs, Sierra and Siggy, are proud to call Boca Raton home.

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