1) Why is outside dining and drinking considered safer?
In an outdoor space, “there would generally be much more air movement, so particles containing the virus would dissipate faster,” he told me.
2) What counts as “outdoors”?
“I think large tents with a top and open sides can still be called outside. In hotter climates and on sunnier days, the shade protection is necessary for comfort and sun protection,” Gloster said. “Air can still circulate freely in those environments.”
3) Are we putting staff at risk?
Yes. The general rule is every time we expose ourselves to more people, we increase our risk to ourselves and to the people we come into contact with. This is why health directives have specifically said to minimize nonessential trips and contact with other people.
4) What can bars and restaurants do to keep patrons safe?
If you’re trying to assess whether the restaurant you’re considering eating at is taking precautions seriously, distanced tables, masked staff, and enhanced sanitation measures are all hallmarks to look out for.
5) So how are we supposed to eat and drink with masks on?
“Keep your mask on while waiting for your food, take it off and eat, and then put it back on when you are done is the best strategy,” she said. “Make sure that you put your mask away and not just on the table unless you have sanitized it or you feel it’s a clean surface.”
6) Who should we be eating with?
The ongoing advice from health officials has been that the people we live with — families, roommates, significant others — are the only people we should be interacting with. That’s because we share the same environments and risk levels with said people and, ideally, have open communication about things like commutes, essential trips, etc., that we are taking.
7) What’s working in South Korea? And can it work here?
One of the things South Korea has been able to do well is not only get its citizens to buy into the social distancing measures, but also supplement that with robust and extensive contact tracing — essentially testing as many people as possible who were in contact with someone who was sick.