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CNMI lifts temperature check mandate for restaurants, bars, other businesses

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

Saipan-- The CNMI government has eliminated the requirement for restaurants, bars and other businesses that are open to the public, or places of worship to maintain records of temperature screening and one point of contact for each party.

The Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation and Environmental Health Disease Prevention today released the updated Covid-19 guidance for businesses.

Other safety measures such as masking, hygiene practices and social distancing remain in place.

For businesses that serve prepared meals, the EHDP regulates food handlers and sanitation permitting, among other responsibilities, and sets rules for restaurants. Under the new guidance, employees and patrons are no longer required to be screened at the entrance prior to entering a restaurant or bars but business owners are still required to enforce hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and use of well-fitted face masks by employees when near other employees and customers.


Additional rules are imposed on restaurants and bars that offer dine-in services.

"All parties must remain at least 6 feet apart and are encouraged to use outdoor seating whenever possible," the new rules state.

For self-service food or drinks, such as buffet-style dining or beverage refill stations, restaurants and bars are encouraged to implement more precautions such as the use of disposable gloves and social distancing.


Other highlights of the new guidance are as follows:

· Ensure adequate supplies to support healthy hand hygiene practices for both employees and customers. · Provide physical guides, such as tape on floors or sidewalks to ensure that customers remain at least 6 feet apart in queues or ask customers to wait in their cars or away from the establishment while waiting to pick up food. · Post signs on how to stop the spread of Covid-19, how to properly wash hands, provide notice that no one with symptoms will be permitted inside, and how to properly wear a face covering. · Post “one-way” flow signs for entrance and “one-way” flow signs for exit to maintain crowd control. · Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. · Wash, rinse, and sanitize all surfaces which come in contact with food after each use. · Send employees with symptoms home. · Discontinue preset tables—condiments, utensils, and tableware removed from table. · Ensure that all staff complete online ServSafe training specific to Covid-19 transmission reduction within one week of offering services.

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