While the festive season is coinciding with opening of restaurants, pubs and bars, it’s critical for us to keep a number of precautions in mind before we step out during the pandemic.
With restaurants reopening across the country, many are tempted to step out this festive season to grab a bite. The good news is that you can still keep yourself safe while enjoying a meal in a restaurant. According to experts, depending on the local disease prevalence, it may be safe to dine at a restaurant where all precautions are taken very seriously. Here are a few dine-out tips that you can follow.
Avoid going to crowded restaurants and avoid eating out during peak hours. This is in keeping with the general guidelines and preventive measures issued by health regulatory bodies such as the WHO - World Health Organisation.
- Choose Spacious and Well-ventilated Restaurants
Visit well-ventilated restaurants. Good ventilation could minimize the chances of the virus spreading. In addition, ensure its spacious. There needs to be enough space for staff and customers to move freely. Moreover, you do not want to feel uncomfortably crammed together. You can also try ‘al fresco’ or open-air dining.
- Ensure the Restaurant Follows Food Safety Guidelines
Before choosing to dine at a particular restaurant, do your homework. Ensure the restaurant you chose is taking the appropriate precautions. Speak to the restaurant manager to find out if the staff is following food safety guidelines. You can also read reviews online or check with your friends to ensure you are visiting a safe place.
- Sanitize The Table and Chair Before Sitting Down
Commonly touched surfaces or inanimate objects like the chair, table, the salt and pepper shakers can play a significant role in spreading infection. Hence it’s a good idea to wipe down surfaces before you use. You can use sanitizers, tissues or wet wipes to clean up. However, make sure you properly dispose of used tissues or wipes.
Ensure you wash your hands before and after meals. Drying of the washed hands is also a part of the practice, as wet and moist hands are more prone to get re-contaminated.
- Order Food that’s Properly Cooked
Ensure you order food wisely. Just to be on the safer side, it is better to avoid raw food or undercooked food. And if possible, try ordering vegetarian food, over non-veg to ensure you are consuming nutritious meals.
Ensure, you carry your water bottle, napkin, masks, hand gloves, sanitizer, etc. It is best to carry your own, so that you don't have to get a new one or borrow it from someone. This practice will prevent you from catching the virus.
Even though you can now visit restaurants to enjoy food, the first thing the government is advising is – takeaway options. It is the safest option, where you can get your food items packed from restaurants and enjoy the meals in the comfort of your home.
Restaurants and bars may consider implementing several strategies to encourage behaviours that reduce the spread of COVID-19 among employees and customers. However, as responsible citizens, you need to ensure that you take the necessary precautions. It will not only keep you, but also our communities safe.