Shelby County releases tougher new rules for restaurants during pandemic


A new health directive issued Friday puts more restrictions on restaurants in Shelby County.

Among the rules, diners must wear a mask at all times, unless they are taking a bite or a sip. Food and beverage sales have to end at 10 p.m.

Further, county schools are “strongly encouraged to suspend all school-related close-contact sports at this time.”

The following applies to businesses that have food and/or alcohol permits:

  • Must require their customers to be seated while eating or drinking, and
  • indoor seating must not exceed 50% capacity of the establishment.
  • Must require their customers to wear a mask at all times except for when
  • the customer is actually eating a bite of food or drinking a beverage.
  • No more than 6 guests (with a maximum of 4 adults) may be seated at the
  • same table, and they must be of the same household.
  • Any person at one table cannot be within 6 feet distance from any person
  • at another table.
  • Food service shall not exceed two hours.
  • All bar counters must be closed for seating.
  • Standing, gathering, or ordering at a bar is not allowed.
  • Dancing is not permitted.
  • All food and beverage service shall close at 10 pm. This means that any
  • guests who are already receiving service at 10 pm may remain there until
  • 10:30 pm to complete payment arrangements but may not be served food or
  • beverages after 10 pm.
  • If properly permitted by local and state law, any curb-side, drive-thru, or
  • delivery services may continue, but any such sales of alcoholic beverages
  • must end at 10 pm.
  • Only staff needed to close, open, clean, or operate curb-side/delivery
  • services shall be in any establishment between the hours of 10:30 pm and
  • 5:00 am. Legally permitted curb-side, drive-thru, and delivery service may
  • continue (except for the sale of alcoholic beverages as provided above)
  • without the restriction of closing at 10 pm as long as such services also
  • comply with state law.