As of June 30, Oregon has lifted its COVID-19 safety protocol framework, including its limits on restaurant and bar capacity, last call curfews, and mask requirements. In other words, the state has fully reopened, and restaurants and bars can operate as they did in 2019.
Earlier this year, Gov. Kate Brown announced that the state would eliminate its safety restrictions on businesses and residents when 70 percent of Oregon adults received at least one of the available COVID-19 vaccines. Currently, the state is very close to that number — fewer than 20,000 people need to receive a vaccine to reach that benchmark — but last week, Brown decided to lift the state’s safety protocol framework by June 30, whether the state reached 70 percent or not.
Many restaurants and bars posted on social media today announcing new hours and protocols: NE Broadway’s Swift Lounge will stay open until 2:30 a.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays starting today, and the newly reopened cocktail bar Hey Love is allowing customers to enter maskless. Others are taking some time to slowly reintroduce new policies: For instance, vegan deli Fermenter will reopen for indoor dining Thursday July 15th, and Southeast Portland brunch spot Cafe Rowan will reopen at full capacity on Wednesday, July 7. In an Instagram post, Fermenter owner Aaron Adams asked customers to be understanding as the deli’s staff began the transition. “As far as this week goes, please be gentle with the staff,” the caption reads. “We’re all figuring out this transition of an end to the mask mandate. We get it and feel it but we also aren’t all there yet, and we do things as a group. Let compassion and understanding be your guide.”
There are some places where masks are still required, like in hospitals or while riding public transportation, but the state no longer requires that restaurants or bars check vaccination cards before letting a customer enter maskless. That being said, restaurants and bars can set their own mask or social distancing requirements, if they feel so inclined. In an Instagram post, North Portland’s Barlow Tavern noted that, while the bar would begin to reopen indoor bar seating and extend its hours, it plans to continue to require masks inside the bar. “We will still be enforcing a mask policy for our staff and patrons (sic) safety,” the post reads. “We understand some of our customers may disagree with this policy but we ask that you be respectful while we all find a common comfort level while readjusting to social life.”
Do you know of a restaurant reopening at full capacity? Choosing to require masks for the foreseeable future? Reopening for late-night or 24-hour service? Let us know via the tipline.
• Oregon Will Fully Reopen by June 30 [EPDX]
• How Coronavirus Is Impacting the Portland Restaurant World [EPDX]
• Oregon Restaurants Will Be Able to Serve at Full Capacity Once the State Vaccinates 70 Percent of Adults [EPDX]
• Don’t Forget to Tip Your Eater [EPDX]