Tel Aviv said preparing to reopen restaurants and cafes with outdoor seating
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Tel Aviv said preparing to reopen restaurants and cafes with outdoor seating

Municipality set to allow restaurants to place more tables outside without charge; considering using Rabin Square as giant outdoor eating area

Illustrative: Customers sit at a restaurant on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv, June 22, 2017. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)
Illustrative: Customers sit at a restaurant on Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv, June 22, 2017. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

The Tel Aviv municipality is preparing guidelines for the reopening of the city’s once-thriving dine-in restaurant scene,  Channel 12 reported Thursday.

The restaurants will be required to move their tables outside, but will be exempted from charges for expanding outdoor seating according to the report. All tables will have to be at least two meters apart.

One of the possibilities discussed by the municipality is allowing the restaurants in the streets around the city’s iconic Rabin Square to put tables out in the square itself.

According to the report, the municipality has already held talks with hundreds of cafes and restaurants to see if they would want to move their tables out onto the streets and has asked them to prepare plans for where they would place the tables.

Channel 12 reported that in closed talks, Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai said the municipality needed to “leave no stone unturned” to help the city’s restaurants get back on their feet.

People wear protective masks in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square April 18, 2020; the municipality is reportedly considering allowing restaurants to put tables out in the plaza. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

In the United States, CNN reported Thursday that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has prepared a draft outline of guidelines for reopening of businesses including restaurants and bars.

The guidelines say restaurants should reopen with limited capacity that still allows for social distancing.

The document also recommends use of disposable menus, plates and utensils and for servers to use face masks.

Restaurants and bars have been shuttered in Israel since mid-March due to the coronavirus, but are allowed to make deliveries and as of April 25, customers may pick up take-away food.

Shops facing outdoors were also allowed to open earlier this week.

The current rules for maintaining public health at restaurants prohibit seating at food outlets. There must be a partition at the counter to prevent the transfer of droplets between seller and customer and employers should schedule groups of workers in permanent shifts. In addition, two meters’ distance must be maintained among those present.

The rules of hygiene, including the disinfection of surfaces, must be strictly maintained, and restaurant employees must wear masks and gloves.

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