Indiana restaurant owners are ready to turn their open signs around as part of Indiana's #BackOnTrack roadmap.

During his press conference on Friday, May 1, 2020, Governor Eric Holcomb laid out his roadmap for the State of Indiana to get #BackOnTrack and reopen the economy following his stay-at-home order. But the roadmap has a lot of twists and turns based on industry and location, so let’s take a closer look at how this impacts the hospitality industry in Indiana.

Where you are will matter.

Before we even begin to discuss the 5-stage timeline for the entire state, it’s important to know that Gov. Holcomb’s roadmap does NOT override the ability for local governments to impose more-severe restrictions than the state-wide roadmap covers.

We know for a fact that Marion, Lake and Cass counties will not begin moving along the roadmap until May 11th at the earliest. We already know Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett has extended the stay-at-home order for Marion County until May 15th, so we’ll all be awaiting clarification on which date businesses in Marion County need to target – May 11th or May 15th.

The 5-stage roadmap.

The reopening process breaks down into 5 stages, with our current stay-at-home order phase all falling into Stage 1. So, the real question: when will restaurants, bars and other hospitality businesses are able to proceed along the full roadmap. This is subject to change, of course, but here’s the basics to getting Indiana #BackOnTrack:

Stage 2 – May 4th (Lake & Cass Counties on May 11th, Marion County on May 11th or May 15th)

Restaurants, Bars with Food: Dining room service may open at 50% capacity a week after the start of Stage 2. Bar seating closed; no live entertainment. Screen employees daily; employees must wear face coverings. Consult Indiana Restaurant & Lodging Association best practices as well as Indiana’s Back on Track Best Practices. Provide employees, customers your COVID-19 safety plan.

Bars & Nightclubs: Closed.

Retail, Malls, Commercial Businesses: Open at 50% of capacity; pickup, delivery preferred. Mall common areas limited to 25% capacity. Screen
employees daily; utilize face coverings according to best practices guidelines. Highly recommend employees & customers wear face coverings. Social distancing provisions for employees & customers. Consult industry best practices. Provide employees, customers with COVID-19 policies.

See the full PDF document for more industry-specific information for businesses not listed here.

Stage 3 – May 24th for all Counties

Restaurants, Bars with Food: Dining room service open at 50% capacity. Bar seating closed; no live entertainment. Screen employees daily; employees must wear face coverings. Consult Indiana Restaurant & Lodging Association best practices as well as Indiana’s Back on Track Best Practices. Provide employees, customers your COVID-19 safety plan.

Bars & Nightclubs: Closed.

Retail, Malls, Commercial Businesses: Open with restrictions of 75% of
capacity; maintain social distancing. Mall common areas limited to 50% capacity. Screen employees daily. Highly recommend employees & customers wear face coverings. Provisions for employees to maintain social
distancing. Consult industry best practices. Provide employees, customers w/ COVID-19 policies.

See the full PDF document for more industry-specific information for businesses not listed here.

Stage 4 – June 14th for all Counties

Restaurants, Bars with Food: Dining room service open at 75% capacity. Bar seating open at 50% capacity; social distancing required. Screen employees daily; must wear face coverings. Consult Indiana Restaurant
& Lodging Association best practices
as well as Indiana’s Back on Track Best Practices. Provide safety plans.

Bars & Nightclubs: Open at 50% capacity. Screen employees daily; must wear face covering. Consult industry best practices. Provide employees, customers your COVID-19 safety plan.

Retail, Malls, Commercial Businesses: Open at full capacity; maintain social distancing. Screen employees daily. Recommend employees & customers wear cloth face coverings. Consult industry best practices; provide/post COVID-19 safety plan.

See the full PDF document for more industry-specific information for businesses not listed here.

Stage 5 – July 4th for all Counties

Restaurants, Bars with Food: Open at full capacity. Bar seating open. Screen employees daily; recommend face coverings. Consult Indiana Restaurant & Lodging Association best practices as well as Indiana’s Back on Track Best Practices. Provide employees, customers your COVID-19 safety plan.

Bars & Nightclubs: Open at full capacity. Screen employees daily; recommend face coverings. Consult industry best practices. Provide employees, customers your COVID-19 safety plan.

Retail, Malls, Commercial Businesses: Open at full capacity; maintain social distancing. Screen employees daily. Recommend face coverings. Consult industry best practices; provide/post COVID-19 safety plan.

See the full PDF document for more industry-specific information for businesses not listed here.

The takeaway: plan to operate differently for an extended period of time.

It’s important to note the roadmap is open-ended after July 4th, with social distancing protocols, employee screenings and recommendations for face coverings continued with no end date noted. As Gov. Holcomb noted, until a vaccine or treatment for the pandemic is developed and released, social distancing and increased sanitization will remain the norms.

Be sure to review the guidance on reopening restaurants and other hospitality-based businesses from the National Restaurant Association. Having a well-crafted plan for executing your reopening and operating your business for the foreseeable future is critical to your short- and long-term success!

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