ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico Department of Health is putting new restrictions on restaurants and bars, in an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus in the state.
The new order limits all restaurants, bars, breweries, eateries, and other food establishments to no more than 50% of maximum capacity and no more than 50% of seating capacity at any time. It also says tables and booths may not seat more than six people, and all occupied tables and booths must be separated by at least six feet. The order also prohibits people from being seated at bars, and serving standing patrons. This comes as the health department announces the state now has 21 cases of the virus.
“We’re certainly complying with all the regulations that came out in the last day,” said Brian Stafford, the owner of Sadie’s of New Mexico. “We’re down to half capacity; we’re not seating people at the bar top.”
At Sadie’s, employees are taking extra precautions, such as using disposable cutlery and not keeping salt and pepper shakers on the tables.
“The response has been very positive, and we’re still
very busy,” said Stafford. “I think we’re already on a wait, people
waiting for tables.”
Fan Tang in Nob Hill is also taking extra steps to protect customers.
“We’re sanitizing surfaces that you touch frequently,” said Jason Zeng, the owner of Fan Tang. “We’re all wearing gloves now.”
Zeng said employees are also trying to limit orders paid with cash, and instead have people pay in advance online or over the phone.
“We’re no longer taking your credit cards with our hands, we’re having people stick it in themselves to eliminate contacts like that,” Zeng said.
While there’s a lot of uncertainty with the virus, restaurant owners are doing what they can to stay afloat.
“I hope that we get back to normal sooner than later,” Stafford said.