Temporary Outdoor Seating Guidelines for South Carolina Restaurants

  • By cvbizz
  • May 2, 2020
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All restaurants that provide outdoor patio venues must adhere to strict mitigation standards preventing the spread of COVID-19. The general operating matrix will require spacing of groups, limiting concentration of people, strict use of PPE, and frequent sanitizing.

Existing approved outdoor seating areas, to include open air patio, balcony, rooftop, parking lots and sidewalks, must maintain operating features per approved Fire Marshal occupancy.

The following modifications are required:


•Space tables a minimum of 8feet from each other (measured from all edges of the table);
•Limit table groups to 8 individuals; and
•Eliminate gatherings in the building when entering or exiting outdoor seating area; and
•Maintain strict social/physical distancing guidelinesOpen Areas and temporary tents utilized by existing, permitted restaurants, must have all sides of the tent open. The following conditions are required:
•Space tables a minimum of 8 feet from each other (measured from all edges of the table);
•Limit table groups to 8 individuals;
•State approved fire extinguisher within 75 feet of tent area; and •Minimum 7-foot 6-inch head room (ceiling height). Tables, chairs, and seats should be cleaned/sanitized after every customer.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding tent or portable structures:


Can I set tents or open areas outside of the existing building footprint? – Yes. but subject to local ordinances and must be contiguous to the permitted/license premise.
•Can I serve beer/winein the tent or portable structure areaif I have an on-premise permit?
Yes, provided that there is a demarcation of the area it is being served. This may be accomplished with signs with the restaurant name and rope or tape.
Can I provide a cocktail (mixed drink)in the tent or portable structure area if I havean on-premise permit?
No, liquor cannot be served outside of the licensed premise
•Can I set up a buffet or self-serve beverage?
No, table service or pick-up counter service may only be provided.
•Can I provide restroom services inside my restaurant?
Yes, you are allowed to be sure to maintain a regular cleaning schedule.

•What are the responsibilities of providing social distancing when there is no table staff?
Owner/operator will still manage property as normal and ensure seating layouts and procedures are followed or otherwise cease service.