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Worcester Will Not Change Restaurant Dining Standards For Now

For Immediate Release: 9/24/2020 10:58 pm

City Manager Edward M. Augustus Jr. today is issuing an executive order maintaining the current standard of allowing no more than 6 people to dine at a restaurant table and prohibiting bar seating in restaurants.

This order comes only after careful consideration and consultation with Dr. Michael P. Hirsh, the City of Worcester’s Medical Director, and will remain in effect until such time that the City moves from a red to yellow state designation.

Gov. Baker on Wednesday announced an update to the state’s Coronavirus standards to allow 10 people per table at restaurants and to permit bar seating for food service. State guidelines allow communities to impose stricter guidelines.

“I am mindful of the tremendous impact the COVID-19 virus has had on the City of Worcester, particularly the restrictions placed on our restaurants,” said City Manager Augustus. “Our number one priority has always been on public health and that is what is at the heart of my decision today. Worcester is currently designated by the Commonwealth as a ‘high risk’ community in the ‘red zone’. It is with that in mind that I’ve made this difficult decision."

“This does not mean it cannot change. We will continue to monitor our COVID-19 numbers," he continued. "This is an opportunity for all residents to pull together, push our numbers down and move Worcester from the ‘red zone’ into the ‘yellow zone’. I also encourage residents to take advantage of indoor and outdoor dining as well as take-out from our many wonderful local restaurants.”

Gov. Baker earlier this month announced an extension to outdoor dining beyond the original November 1st deadline which the City of Worcester will embrace. The City’s Planning and Regulatory Services along with Economic Development have been and will continue to work with restaurants to establish creative solutions amid the ever-changing climate of COVID-19.

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