Month: October 2020

New WA Safe Start Guidelines for Wineries as of 10/6/20

Governor Inslee announced on Tuesday October 6th new guidance for Restaurants, Taverns, Breweries, Wineries and Distilleries under his Safe Start plan. Major updates include:

Indoor Service: It is no longer required for table mates to be from the same household. Wineries and tasting rooms are permitted to operate at a limited indoor capacity if they offer very basic food service, as outlined below. Indoor capacity is 50% for Phases 2 and 3, and 25% for Phase 1.5.

Outdoor Service: Outdoor service will continue to be allowed for wineries and other impacted businesses at 50% occupancy, with no food requirement. For outdoor seating, a temporary structure may be used. Outdoor structures (temporary or permanent) should have no more than two walls to provide appropriate ventilation. The limitation on walls applies to both rigid and flexible walls. We have included a link and description of options for expanding the outdoor space of your winery tasting room below.

Table occupancy: In Phase 2 the maximum table size is increased to six (6) individuals and in Phase 3 the maximum table size is increased to eight (8) individuals. We have asked for clarification for wineries in Phase 1.5. Standing is prohibited in any area of establishment, except for the lobby/waiting area and then must be done while maintaining 6 feet of distance between patrons.

Table spacing: There is a minor modification to table spacing rules for both indoor and outdoor seating. Tables must be spaced 6 feet away from adjacent tables, or there must be a physical barrier or wall separating booths or tables. Prior guidance required tables to be spaced 6 feet apart from occupied chair to occupied chair.

11 PM Closing Time: Winery tasting rooms and other impacted businesses will need to end alcohol service each evening by 11 PM. This was previously 10 PM.

Bar seating remains closed. This is defined as the area with a bar table/counter where patrons sit or stand side-by-side across where alcoholic drinks and refreshments are served. Counter-style seating is permitted in other areas of the establishment (indoors or outdoors). Six feet of distance is required between parties and other tables.

Governor Inslee announced that no counties will progress phases at this point.

All social distancing requirements must be met indoors and outdoors.