Governor Jay Inslee has ordered all restaurants and bars to close their indoor dining rooms, effective at 11:59pm on November 17th through December 14th. The November 15th announcement comes five months after indoor dining resumed in June post-shutdown. Outdoor dining is still permitted, and tables can seat up to five people.
These new restaurant and bar restrictions are part of a larger mandate that also prohibits indoor social gatherings, as well as indoor service at various businesses such as gyms, museums, and movie theaters.
The reasoning behind this order is prompted by record-high coronavirus cases in the state. In fact, during Inslee’s address, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan stated that 20% of Seattle’s total number of cases throughout the entire pandemic were reported in the last two weeks. Closing restaurant dining rooms is just one step to slow the spread.
There are still many ways to safely support restaurants during this difficult month. You can order delivery or takeout, get your household’s Thanksgiving dinner, and/or grab some pantry essentials at these spots instead of at the supermarket. And if you do wish to eat outdoors in the colder weather, you can find a list of restaurants with tents, heat lamps, and fire pits here.