Home News Restaurants reopening next Monday: everything you need to do and know

Restaurants reopening next Monday: everything you need to do and know

Published on 11/05/2020

The measures that restaurants will be forced to comply with upon their reopening from the 18th May in order to minimise the spread of COVID-19 have been announced. After much debate and controversy over the delay in officials releasing the measures, local restaurateurs’ worries have been heard.

Among the measures in question, and without surprises, is the two-meter spacing between tables, the mandatory use of a mask, and disinfection of hands between contacts with customers for staff. The measures were initially proposed by the Portuguese Hotel Restaurant Association (AHRESP) and were later handed over to the government and authorities, namely the Directorate-General for Health (DGS).

Mandatory measures for customers:

-Hand hygiene with alcohol-based sanitiser, or soap and water, upon entrance and exit of the establishment;

– Respect the distance between individuals, guaranteeing social distancing of at least two meters at all times. This rule does not apply to cohabitants, that is, to people who are at the same table and have come from the same home;

– Comply with respiratory etiquette measures, such as coughing/sneezing into tissues;

-Consider the use of a mask, even if only entering the establishment for take-away services;

– Avoid touching unnecessary surfaces and objects;

– Give preference to payment through means that do not imply physical contact between the employee and the customer (for example, contactless automatic payment at terminal);

– You should not go to any public spaces if you have symptoms of COVID-19.  


Measures for employees:

– Hand hygiene (washing or sanitising) between attending to each table;

– Correct use of a mask during the entire work period;

– Maintain the recommended physical distance of two meters, whenever possible;

– Sanitize dishes, glasses, cutlery and other utensils that the customer will use, washing in the dishwasher with detergent at high temperature (80-90 degrees centigrade);

– It is important to remember that the use of gloves to prepare and handle food does not replace adequate and frequent hand hygiene;

– Do not use gloves from one task to do another unrelated task. The same pair of gloves can only be used for one task and must be replaced if damaged or if the employee interrupts the task;

– Employees who develop signs or symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 should not be present at the workplace, and should contact the SNS24 Line (808 24 24 24).


General measures:

-Provide all employees with a copy of the in-depth restaurant Contingency Plan and ensure that they are in a position to implement all required measures effectively;

– Reduce the maximum capacity of the establishment in order to ensure the recommended physical distance of two meters between people on the premises. The maximum capacity of people allowed in the establishment must be affixed to a specific document, visible to the public;

– Favouring the use of spaces for customers in outdoor areas, such as terraces (whenever possible) and take-away service;

– Arrange chairs and tables in order to guarantee a distance of at least two meters between people;

– Promote and encourage prior scheduling for customers to reserve seats;

– Replace individual menus with menus that do not need to be handled by customers (for example, handwritten boards, or online menus) or adopt individual single-use menus (for example, sealed or printed on disposable paper), or multiple use laminated menus that can be disinfected after each use;

-Self-service operations, namely buffets and food dispensers that involve contact by the customer are discouraged;

– When ordering and paying at the counter, customers must maintain a distance of 2 meters from staff;

– Provide alcohol-based solution dispensers located near the entrance to the establishment and in other convenient locations throughout;

– Ensure that the sanitary facilities of customers and employees are replenished, making it possible to wash hands with soap and water and dry hands with single-use paper towels.

– Washbasins must be accessible without having to touch doorhandles;

– Ensure proper cleaning and disinfection of surfaces. Disinfection should be done at least six times throughout the day and using detergents suitable for all areas of common use (doors, taps and handles);

– Color-coded cleaning cloths, preferably disposable: Blue: benches, tables, chairs, armchairs for restaurants and offices, among others; Green: meal tables and food preparation areas; Yellow: bathroom sinks; Red: outside of the toilets (the inside should be scrubbed with the toilet brush and disinfectant-based detergent);

– Bucket and mop used for floor cleaning must be disinfected frequently.