Next Monday, May 25, Colorado restaurant owners and operators hope to know the date they can reopen.
Gov. Jared Polis said Monday (May 18) his goal is to have final guidelines ready on May 25th and he wants those final guidelines to include a date when in-person dining will return to Colorado establishments.
The first draft of the guidelines under which restaurants can reopen should be ready in the next day or so, according to the governor.
Once the draft guidelines are out, the clock starts to tick down to reopening.
"We are then going to, over two or three days, take public feedback, finalize these guidelines by the end of the week and then announce the [reopening] date next week [on Monday] May 25th. We hope it's then based on the data holding up around the level of the virus in Colorado."
The draft guidelines, and soon to be final guidelines, will outline the required steps to be in place and followed in order for owner proprietors to reopen their doors to the general public.
"This is how they can reopen," the governor said. "The definitive 'when' needs the data from the next week, which we don't have yet. But that's very important because you can't just tell restaurants how to reopen and by the way, it's tomorrow. They need a week or so, [which] is what they've told us, to get ready. The 'how' will be out by Friday, the draft is out today, it could change a little but based on input, but the public health side is very strong and it looks good. I'm sure we'll get a lot of good input from restaurants and from customers about what we can do to inspire confidence."
One key for restaurant profitability will be seating people outside.
"The key pathway for restaurants to reach a hundred percent capacity involves the use of our beautiful outdoors in the evenings and during lunchtime," the governor said. "Already they have patios but that includes sidewalks and parking lots and then with cities cooperating with them, they might be able to use parking or city streets as well."
If restaurant owners need about a week to get their establishments ready and the governor indeed released those final guidelines on Monday, May 25, then it could very well be that Colorado restaurants will be able to reopen on or around June 1, assuming there is no spike in COVID-19 before then.
The governor's comments pertaining to restaurants are below, followed by his full remarks on Monday. are below.
More of Gov. Polis talking about restaurants reopening.
Gov. Polis' full remarks.