What You Need To Know About Going To A Restaurant After Your COVID Vaccine

As more shots go into arms, people are wondering if it is time to ditch the takeout containers for a seat at your favorite restaurant's table. While people and businesses continue to navigate the current climate, there are a few things you should know about dining out after receiving the COVID vaccine. Although every location has its own parameters, CNN shared some insight to advise diners on a few broad-based suggestions. Per CNN, when it comes to dining indoors, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention actually has the same guidance for vaccinated and unvaccinated people. From social distancing to mask-wearing, many of the same concepts that people have been following may still apply.

Still, there are a few things that diners can do as they return to restaurants to ensure they can enjoy the experience as safely as possible. Understanding the restaurant's safety measures, outdoor seating options, and masking requirements is important. In addition, guests may want to consider individual condiment packets and online menus to limit the surfaces they touch. 

Still, a restaurant does have limited space. Given that scenario, guests may not want to linger while eating. That long, romantic dinner might be better served at home. Skip the appetizers and desserts. Dr. Leana Wen, CNN's Medical Analyst, says the exception might be a table of fully vaccinated diners who are at least six feet from others.

Lastly, that extra glass of wine might be a pass, too, since alcohol can affect your judgment. Even though many people are excited to return to restaurants, being aware of the situation is still vital. 

Have certain dining rituals forever changed due to COVID?

In a recent Eater article, Dr. Dean A. Blumberg, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UC Davis Health, discussed vaccinated diners and the return to restaurants. While the article referenced "baby steps," the reality is that there are still many unknowns. From the impact on staff to the comfort levels of diners, the uncertainty is as vast as the Cheesecake Factory menu. As Eater points out, a vaccinated person could still potentially pass on the virus. While many people long to enjoy a leisurely meal with friends at their favorite restaurant, it isn't as simple as booking a table on OpenTable. As the Washington Post clearly stated in an article title, "Congrats on the vaccination. You still need to keep your mask up."

While the CDC continues to re-evaluate its guidelines, some dining rituals may be forever changed. Diners might not be comfortable sharing plates or having communal dining experiences. Main Event posed the question about blowing out birthday candles last year and now offers its Wishing Wand. People are more aware of how and why germs spread and that information can impact how and what people eat. For now, there might be cautious optimism on returning to the restaurant table, but it is served with a slice of caution.