Governor announces limited outdoor dine-in services for restaurants
SANTA FE (KSMX)- New Mexico state health officials on Tuesday announced 107 additional positive tests for COVID-19 including 3 new cases in Curry County. New Mexico has now had a total of 7,130 positive tests for the virus.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham also announced the state’s emergency public health order will be amended to permit limited outdoor dine-in services for most of the state beginning Wednesday, May 27, per the press release.
Dine-in services inside restaurants and bars remain temporarily prohibited.
New Mexico is on target for a June 1 reopening of those services under a limited capacity per fire code occupancy restrictions – however, New Mexico health officials continue to monitor the rate of transmission in the state’s southwestern public health region, which if unchecked could preclude further reopenings in that region. The amended public health order does not apply to the northwestern public health region.
Under the amended public health order, which is attached and will be effective Wednesday, May 27, restaurants may offer dine-in service in outdoor seating areas at up to 50 percent of their outdoor area fire code occupancy. The following stipulations apply:
- No dine-in service may be provided in indoor seating areas.
- Outdoor dine-in service may only be provided to patrons who are seated.
- Tables must be placed with at least six feet of distance between one another.
- No more than six patrons may be seated at any single table.
- No bar or counter seating is permitted.
Bars – defined as food and beverage service establishments that derived more than 50 percent of their revenue in the prior calendar year from the sale of alcoholic beverages – are not included in this provision and may not operate outdoor or patio services at present. Bars may continue to operate for take-out and delivery if permitted under their applicable licenses.
“The New Mexico Restaurant Association is happy with the Governor’s decision to allow a soft opening, of outdoor dining, for restaurants on May 27,” said Carol Wight, the association’s chief executive. “We believe this will provide restaurants the opportunity to ease back into the swing of things while taking the time to properly train staff and implement COVID-19 safe procedures effectively, before fully opening to the public on June 1.