State outlines open air and outdoor seating requirements during Phase 1 of ‘Healthy Washington’ plan

The state has outlined four alternatives to indoor seating that allow local restaurants to open, while increasing air flow to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission.

The first two options focus on permeable walls.

Open Air Concept 1: In this concept, seating areas must have at least one permeable wall and two or more adjacent nonpermeable walls. Occupany is limited to 15 percent capacity of the seating area as set by fire code.

Open Air Concept 2: Structures must have two non-adjacent permeable, unblocked walls that allow cross ventilation. These restaurants must have CO2 monitoring in areas not within the direct path of air.

In these two concepts, table size must be limited to six people and spaced six feet apart. Windows and doors must also be open 10 minutes prior to seating customers and remain open 10 minutes after they leave.

Open Air Concept 3: In this concept, seating occurs in unobstructed outdoor air. This includes seating on sidewalks, covered patios, courtyards or similar areas. Outdoor seating must have an overhead cover, one wall and no other impermeable barriers exceeding four feet in height within 10 feet of the seating area.

Open Air Concept 4: This concept includes enclosed structures – like pods or igloos — for small groups. These enclosed structures must provide protection from the weather and be limited to six occupants.

The image below shows examples of the different concepts:

indoor seating concepts

Under the new “Healthy Washington” plan, restaurants can open regular indoor seating at 25 percent capacity during Phase 2.

Learn more about the Healthy Washington plan here.