EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – A variance request for El Paso County to open restaurant dining rooms was approved by state health officials on Saturday. The state included an additional requirement:

In each confined indoor space, in order to achieve 6 ft social distancing, the limit is 50% of the posted occupancy code limit ensuring a minimum [of] 28 square feet per person not to exceed more than 50 people at any given time.

(credit: CBS4)

This variance request is effective immediately. For restaurants who are looking for technical assistance or guidance, call (719) 578-3167, or visit El Paso County Public Health’s website.

RELATED: Larimer County Allowed To Open Qualified Businesses

Read other takeaways from the variance request provided by the El Paso County Health Department:

Seating capacity

  • All seating shall be structured so as to ensure a minimum of six feet between occupied seats at different tables.
  • Groups seated together shall be limited to 10 people and must be from the same household or consistent social group.

Seating processes

  • Facilities are required to take reservations. Walk-in reservations are also accepted.
  • Restaurants are encouraged to record and maintain the following information for each table seated for twenty-one (21) days:
  • Name and phone number of one adult in the party
  • Table assignment
  • Seating and departure times
  • If maintained, such information shall be provided to Public Health only upon request if Public Health needs to notify others of a new COVID-19 outbreak.
  • Seating at bar areas is not permitted unless a minimum of six-foot distancing between staff and customers can be maintained.

Common-use items and areas

  • Multiple-use condiment containers are prohibited. Only single-use items may be provided.
  • Buffets may not be self-serve by customers; only plated or carry-out delivery meals provided to customers by staff are allowed. Buffets must be at least six feet from any dining tables.
  • Doorknobs, counter tops, bathrooms, handles, railings, and other high-touch areas shall be cleaned and disinfected every 2 hours.


  • Employees who routinely or consistently come within six feet of other employees or customers must wear a cloth face covering over their noses and mouths, unless doing so would inhibit the employee’s health.
  • Facilities must make every effort to provide employees with cloth face coverings.

The state health department says if the county see more than 715 cases in a two-week period, the variance will be rescinded.


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