Is outdoor dining safe?


Manasa Krishnan

While there are some risks of outdoor dining, people can take safety precautions to decrease exposure to COVID-19.

Aidan Bohen, Staff Writer

As millions of Americans begin to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, it’s a giant step into returning back to normal life. But masks and social distancing are still a must. 

Small businesses took a giant hit in the midst of the pandemic, with many struggling to make ends meet. A rising question with restaurants staying open is if the outdoor dining that some restaurants provide is safe or not.

If restaurant staff  and customers are following Coronavirus guidelines I think eating outdoors is acceptable. Indoor dining presents so many more risk factors than outdoor dining. 

Being in an indoor environment without masks is really just an enclosed space where the virus can spread easier. Eating outdoors eliminates the virus recirculating around the restaurant. 

Without these restaurants having access to outdoor dining it can cause many of these restaurants businesses to completely shut down.

“I’m a waitress downtown at Sidetrack. Outdoor dining is really convenient because it’s a way that restaurants stay open. The whole staff is required to wear masks and we do everything we can to follow Covid guidelines to ensure the safety of the customers,” said Rylee Scanlon (‘21)

Seeing the steps restaurants staff take to ensure the safety of customers is quite reassuring.  

On the flip side, many people are completely against outdoor dining. Many people argue against outdoor dining because diners at their tables take their masks off for long periods of time, in the vicinity of others.

Even in cases where restaurants are following established guidelines like spacing out tables, adhering to maximum occupancy limits, and utilizing a powerful HVAC system to filter and circulate fresh air that disperses viral particles, the risks of dining out are now higher in places where positivity rates are high and more contagious variants are present,” said Elazar Sontag, a staff writer at Eater. 

Every time you go out in public you’re taking a slight risk and if you go to a restaurant, I feel like as long as you’re safe and following the rules outdoor dining should be allowed.