Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a new public health proclamation Tuesday, Sept. 15, adding a social-distancing requirement to restaurants and bars in all of Iowa's 99 counties. The new proclamation states "all patrons must have a seat at a table, booth or bar, and must consume their food and/or beverage while seated at a table, booth or bar." In short, patrons consuming food or drinking beverages must be seated in all Iowa eating and drinking establishments.
The proclamation also permits bars, taverns, wineries, breweries, distilleries, and night clubs to reopen in four counties. These hospitality businesses in Black Hawk, Dallas, Linn, and Polk counties may reopen as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020. The proclamation also removes the restrictions on hours that alcohol may be sold in restaurants in those counties. The closures and service restrictions on restaurants and bars from the Governor's earlier proclamation remain in place for bars and restaurants in Story County and Johnson County through Sept. 20.
All other public health mitigation measures currently in place for all counties also continue through September 20th. This list now includes the requirements for bars and restaurants to ensure six feet of physical distance between each group or individual dining or drinking; to ensure all patrons have a seat at a table or bar; and to limit congregating together closer than six feet. Requirements for social distancing, hygiene, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission also remain in place for gyms, casinos, salons, theaters, and other establishments.
The proclamation is now in effect until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, September 20, 2020.
Enforcement and education efforts from the Iowa ABD and Iowa DIA will continue through September 20, 2020 as well.