Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Restaurant Association released its 6th edition COVID-19 Operating Guidance incorporating the latest operating information from safety experts for restaurants. The updates include the latest guidance and best practices on indoor dining, ventilation, mask use, encouraging vaccinations for employees, cleaning and sanitizing, hand washing, health monitoring, policies for ill or exposed employees, and COVID-19 precaution training.

This update includes changes to reflect the new OSHA guidelines for protecting workers that state:

“… most employers no longer need to take steps to protect their workers from COVID-19 exposure in any workplace, or well-defined portions of a workplace, where all employees are fully vaccinated. Employers should still take steps to protect unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk workers in their workplaces.”

The update also reflects OSHA’s new guidelines on tax credits for paid time off, accommodating vaccinated and unvaccinated employees, and the imperative need to educate employees about existing and emerging policies for safe restaurant dining in the current operating climate.

“The Association and its state partners remain committed to helping operators protect both their employees and their guests and the updated Operating Guidance leads the way in doing that,” said Larry Lynch, senior vice president of Science and Industry for the National Restaurant Association. “While the spread of COVID-19 is in decline, it’s important to remember that outbreaks are happening in communities across the country and local officials may want to take action to control transmission. That, combined with the release of OSHA’s latest guidelines, provided an opportunity for us to help restaurants understand how to operate in this new environment where vaccinated people can remove masks and reduce social distancing in most circumstances.”

The National Restaurant Association continues to collaborate with safety experts from government organizations, academia, the public health sector, and corporations to bring operators the most up-to-date guidelines to support safe dining.

Download a copy of the 6th edition COVID-19 Operating Guidance here.



Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 15.6 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We sponsor the industry's largest trade show (National Restaurant Association Show); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart). For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.

Contact: Vanessa Sink (202) 331-5900