Educational Guide to Restaurant Operations
During All Phases of Covid-19


First and foremost, we've compiled and continually update
this comprehensive list of grants, mental health resources, substance abuse resources and funds to help hospitality industry workers affected by COVID-19.

maine restaurant guidelines

PHASE 1: On May 18, 2020, Maine restaurants may begin to reopen with social distancing guidelines and face coverings for employees. Under Governor Mills’ reopening plan, restaurants in Androscoggin, Cumberland and York counties are only permitted to serve customers outdoors. Meanwhile, restaurants in Maine’s other 13 counties can offer both indoor and outdoor dining on May 18th. Learn More

PHASE 2: Effective June 17, 2020 bars and tasting rooms in all counties may provide seated outdoor service only. Dine-in service permitted as of June 17 for all counties. Learn More

Click Here to download the general checklist (for all industries), and your industry-specific checklist, to identify best practices for safely operating your business during COVID-19, available in 5 languages.

massachusetts restaurant guidelines


PHASE 2 Step 1: On June 8, 2020, Massachusetts may begin to reopen for outdoor dining with social distancing guidelines, groups limited to six guests per table, and mandatory masks are worn when moving around the restaurant. They can be removed once you have arrived at your table. Learn More

PHASE 2 Step 2: Beginning June 22, 2020 MA restaurants can offer indoor dining while following the sector specific COVID-19 workplace safety standards for restaurants/food establishments  to help protect against the spread of COVID-19. Learn More

PHASE 3 Step 1: On July 20, 2020, Governor Baker approved Senate Bill No. 2812, an emergency act to allow local establishments licensed to sell alcoholic beverages via expanded delivery/take-out options. The bill allows customers to order two cocktails per entree, and it caps the total volume customers can order at 64 liquid ounces. The to-go cocktails must be sold in a sealed container, and the volume of alcohol to mixer must be the same as for on-premises consumption. Learn More

PHASE 3 Step 1 Update #1: Effective August 11, 2020, Governor Baker issued updated sector specific standards wherein Massachusetts restaurants must abide by the Standards for Responsible Restaurants in Massachusetts Learn More

PHASE 3 Step 1 Update #2: Starting on September 28, 2020 at MA restaurants table limits have now been increased to allow for a maximum of 10 guests while continuing to follow previously set distance, hygiene, and safety protocols. In additional, bar seating within a restaurant is now permitted according to the latest Safety Standards from the State. Learn More

CLICK HERE for comprehensive information and downloads of ALL stages of the Massachusetts Restaurant and Food Service Safety Standards (multiple languages available)

new hampshire restaurant guidelines

PHASE 2: On May 18, 2020, New Hampshire restaurants may begin to open for outdoor dining with tables at least six feet apart.

PHASE 2 update: Starting on June 15, 2020, NH restaurants may allow indoor dining at 50% capacity.

PHASE 3: Effective August 21, 2020 all NH restaurants may operate at 100% capacity as long as they continue to follow state reopening guidelines. Learn More (last updated August 27, 2020)

Click here for a full suite of up-to-date Food Service Operations resources from the New Hamshire Lodging and Restaurant Association

RHODE ISLAND restaurant guidelines

PHASE 2: On May 18, 2020, Rhode Island restaurants may begin to open for outdoor dining with tables at least six feet apart. Learn More

PHASE 2 update: Beginning June 1, 2020, RI restaurants may allow indoor dining at 50% capacity. Learn More

PHASE 3: On August 7, 2020, RI restaurants may allow indoor dining at 66% capacity. Safety Standards also updated with with information about 11:00 pm bar closures and with additional guidance for catered events. Learn More

CLICK HERE for comprehensitve information about anything that is required of, recommended for, and relevant to reopening your restaurant in the state of Rhode Island, including downloads for all 3 Phases in multiple languages. 

vermont restaurant guidelines

PHASE 2: On May 22, 2020, Vermont restaurants, catering, food service and bars may begin to open for outdoor dining with tables at least ten feet apart.

PHASE 2 update #1: On June 8, 2020, Vermont restaurants, catering, food service and bars may begin  indoor service at 25% capacity with tables at least six feet apart.

PHASE 2 update #2: Effective June 26, 2020, the state of VT will allow restaurants, catering, food service and bars to increase to 50% capacity indoors.

PHASE 3: On September 18, 2020, in Vermont, bar seating may only be open at 50% capacity if a physical barrier, such as a piece of plexiglass, separates the patrons from bartenders and the drink preparation area. And a staffed banquet style buffet may occur if serving lines can accommodate physical distancing. Learn More (modifications made in red)

Click here for Vermont business FAQs, universal Work Safe guidance, and sector specific information


Develop or expand your takeout cocktail program with Horizon Beverage's Cocktails To-Go Guide 
How to develop or enhance your cocktail to go program

  • Batched cocktail options including specs in two drink increments as well as some larger sized options up to 64 ounces to meet all of your to-go cocktail needs
  • Cocktail options utilizing 50ml, 750ml and liter formats
  • RTD – spirits and malt/wine-based ready to drink options
  • Non Alcoholic options

A guide to help restaurants navigate new ways of doing business during the current restrictions on dine-in service

Reinventing Restaurant Takeaway and Delivery

In this guide, we share: 

Data and best practices from the states that are a few weeks ahead of Massachusetts in allowing alcohol for takeaway and delivery. 

Steps Horizon Beverage has taken to protect our people, their families, and the products we deliver to your door to ensure safety for all.

Our sales reps are working remotely and are available by phone and email to help you navigate this unique and challenging time.


News From TTB: Trade Practice Enforcement during COVID-19 Pandemic

A new industry circular was announced May 8, 2020 at to addresse issues relating to trade practice enforcement during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This guidance applies to all affected TTB-regulated industry members and is subject to the specific limitations provided therein. Activities covered by this guidance include:

This guidance will be in effect from March 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020, with the possibility for extension as we may deem appropriate. This guidance applies only to Federal law. Questions about State or local restrictions should be directed to State or local alcohol beverage authorities.


The National Restaurant Association partnered with representatives of the Food and Drug Administration, academia, the Conference for Food Protection, Ecolab, public health officials and industry representatives to develop a set of opening and operating guidelines to help restaurants return to full operation safely when the time comes. 

THE PURPOSE OF THIS GUIDANCE IS TO BUILD ON THE ALREADY ESTABLISHED BEST PRACTICES AND REQUIREMENTS AVAILABLE that address specific health and safety concerns related to the spread of COVID-19, and to put those protocols into practice as state and local officials begin to open communities and businesses. Operators should make use of these guidelines as they relate to their existing policies and procedures and in conjunction with instructions they receive from authorities during their reopening phase-in.

Guidelines for Opening Up America Again

President Trump has unveiled Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. These steps will help state and local officials when reopening their economies, getting people back to work, and continuing to protect American lives. Please click here for more information: Guidelines for Opening Up America Again

  • Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools and Homes (HERE)
  • CDC guidance for Restaurants And Bars

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