On March 23, 2020, Governor Brown issued Executive Order 20-12, joining nearly a dozen other governors across the country by essentially requiring Oregon state residents to stay home except for essential travel, such as to the grocery store or for medical needs. Travel to businesses offering take-out or delivery services is still permitted.
As a result, restaurants, bars, and other similar establishments may remain open for take-out and delivery, but services remain severely curtailed.
Does This New Order Affect Restaurants and Bars?
Yes. Restaurants, bars, and other similar establishments that wish to remain open for take-out or delivery services must first comply with social distancing requirements or face criminal penalties and forced closure.
What Is Required for Food Establishments to Comply With Social Distancing?
To remain open, all businesses (other than grocery and certain healthcare providers) must designate a specific employee or officer to establish a social distancing policy that is consistent with guidance from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).
The social distancing policy must:
- Identify the employee responsible for establishing and enforcing the policy; and
- Establish the required protocols.
The policy must include a plan for maintaining the required distance (i.e., six feet) between all individuals. It must also ensure proper cleaning protocols listed on the OHA website are implemented.
Are There Consequences for Non-Compliance?Failure to (i) designate a specific employee or officer to establish, implement, and enforce a social distancing policy or (ii) comply with social distancing requirements generally will result in the business being forced to close completely until it can demonstrate compliance.
In addition, violation of Governor Brown’s recent order is a class C misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and/or a fine of $1,250 for individuals in violation.
Further information on how the Governor’s order affects individual Oregonians and other businesses may be found here. We also encourage businesses that remain open to confer with counsel with respect to factors to consider in drafting a compliant social distancing policy and ensuring correct adherence to the Governor’s order (e.g., common spaces, shift changes, break times, personal hygiene procedures, etc.).
The facts, laws, and regulations regarding COVID-19 are developing rapidly. Since the date of publication, there may be new or additional information not referenced in this advisory. Please consult with your legal counsel for guidance.
DWT will continue to provide up-to-date insights and virtual events regarding COVID-19 concerns. Our most recent insights, as well as information about recorded and upcoming virtual events, are available at www.dwt.com/COVID-19.