Reduced tables, temperature checks, disposable menus. California officials outline ‘new normal’ for reopening restaurants

Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill is closed for right now.
A pedestrian walks past a closed Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill restaurant on March 17.
(Frederic J. Brown / AFP via Getty Images)

Even after restaurants are allowed to reopen, they’ll have to follow strict precautionary measures in their dining rooms and kitchens for the foreseeable future.

On Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newson outlined a set of policies to be enacted at restaurants once California’s stay-at-home orders are lifted, including taking customer temperatures at the door, requiring servers to wear masks and gloves, reducing the number of tables by 50% to increase physical distancing and providing disposable menus.


Newsom, along with state Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sonia Angell, did not provide a reopening date or say how long such measures would be required but cautioned that the measures would serve as the “new normal” for the immediate future.

Newsom added that if California continues to see a decline in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations over the next two weeks, the state would begin considering easing its stay-at-home order — first enacted March 19 — sometime during the first week of May.

“There’s no light switch here. I would argue it’s more like a dimmer,” Newsom said during the afternoon news conference, adding that the state would likely alternate between less restrictive and more restrictive measures over time.