District News

Updated Information for Bars and Restaurants

Aug 19, 2020
Updated Information for Bars and Restaurants

According to an alert we received from the NYC Department of Small Business Services, NYC Health is beginning to conduct modified restaurant inspections in response to the health and safety concerns around the COVID-19 public health emergency.  Please see below for their guidance.  

“We want to provide you with information on what an inspection will look like: 

  • Inspectors will undertake a daily health screening and will only be working when feeling well. They will be wearing face coverings, washing hands or using hand sanitizer frequently and staying 6 feet from others, when possible. Our inspectors will expect your restaurant staff to follow these same measures. Review this inspection information sheet
  • You will be notified about the timeframe of an upcoming inspection. 
  • Inspections will be shorter, limited to checking for conditions most associated with foodborne illness, pest conditions, compliance with New York State COVID-19 requirements and smoking. 
  • During most inspections, inspectors will educate only and not issue summonses or letter grades. There are two exceptions: (1) if hazardous conditions are observed and cannot be corrected before the end of the inspection, the restaurant may be closed as a temporary measure to protect public health; and (2) if restaurant staff interfere or obstruct the inspection process, the NYC Health Department may issue a summons or take further action. 

The NYC Health Department is modifying its procedures in the short term to protect both inspectors and restaurant staff from COVID-19. We are aware of the hardships created by the COVID-19 public health emergency and the new mandates that restaurants need to implement to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Eliminating fines and educating restaurant staff about the new requirements will, hopefully, allow restaurants to operate successfully amidst these challenges. 

During this interim period, we will be assessing our approach as we monitor the COVID-19 public health emergency in New York City. We will notify restaurants when we plan to resume normal inspections.”