Restaurants, gathering spaces to be limited for COVID-19

Governor orders restrictions on food establishments, casinos
By 
Casey S. Elliott
Friday, March 20, 2020

HELENA – Montana food and drink establishments, health and wellness businesses, gathering places and casinos must close their public spaces due to efforts to limit the spread of the new coronavirus in the state.

Gov. Steve Bullock ordered places that serve food and drink in a dining area; alcoholic beverage service businesses; cigar bars, health clubs, gyms and spas; movie and performance theaters; nightclubs, concert halls; and casinos to close those spaces to the public. The businesses are encouraged to offer food and drink through delivery service, walk-up service, drive-through service; or drive-up service; and to use precautions to mitigate the potential transmission of the new coronavirus and COVID-19. 

Alcohol purchases must be hand-delivered to the purchaser.

When offering food or beverage, the business may permit up to five members of the public at one time inside for the purpose of picking up food or beverage orders, as long as the individuals are at least six feet apart from one another while on the premises.

The restrictions do not apply to establishments that offer food and beverage not for on-site consumption (such as grocery stores, markets, convenience stores, pharmacies); health care facilities; residential care facilities; university dining facilities; congregate care facilities; and juvenile justice facilities; crisis shelters; airport concessionaires; military dining facilities/food operations; any facilities responsible to the emergency, including schools providing necessary meal services to children. All of these facilities should adopt "appropriate social distancing practices to avoid the spread of disease," according to Bullock's emergency order.

The restrictions are currently in place from 8 p.m. March 20 to 11:59 p.m. March 27, though it may be extended.

Visit https://covid19.mt.gov for the most recent information.