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Dining Safely in the Lakes Region

How To Dine Safely in the Lakes Region

Dining Information to Help You Through Covid-19 Times

Eating out in NH won’t be the same for some time to come. With Covid-19 the dining experience has changed dramatically and we here at LakeWinnipesuakee.net want to help you with the hard to answer questions like, is it safe to dine out, and where are some of the safest places to dine out in the lakes Region and greater Lake Winnipesaukee restaurants.  We hope we can add an experience to our readers that are helpful and educational during these hard times. Reach out to  tracey@lakewinnipesaukee.net with comments and images, we’d love to add you to our experience.

We're Doing Some Research

With so many concerns about dining out, we’re going to reach out to our large Facebook audience – (LakesRegionNH)  and asking about places they’ve dined and which ones they’d recommend. We’re also asking those dining establishments if they’d like to add comments on how they’ve stepped up protocol during the Covid-19 issues. Let us know how you have addressed safety and created a safe environment for staff, chefs and for your customers. As information funnels in and Lakes Region Restaurants send us feedback, we’ll add their responses here as well as images they send . For now here are some great tips for dining out in the Lakes Region New Hampshire.

How should I prepare before going to a restaurant?

Before choosing to dine at a particular restaurant, you should do your homework. That means checking with local public health officials to see if dining out is allowed in the city or towns. The Lakes Region covers many counties. It also means figuring out if you will be visiting a town where infections are currently surging or are relatively stable.

When you do decide it’s safe to eat out, try to ensure the restaurant you chose is taking the appropriate precautions. It’s recommended you look at the restaurant’s website and “Make sure you’re comfortable with the protocols.” Calling ahead would be a great idea also as many establishments are taking reservations.

What should I do when I get to the restaurant?

When possible, choose to eat outdoors. “Mother nature’s air handling is much better than indoor air handling and when out in fresh air, it’s almost certain that transmission is less likely.”

Also, maintain space between yourself and other restaurant guests, and avoid shouting, hugging or touching anyone else.

How will servers make my dining as safe as possible?

Robby Kukler, a partner at Fifth Group Restaurants in Atlanta, says that guests should expect restaurants to mandate “ongoing wellness checks with employees, masks worn by employees 100% of the time, sanitation stations throughout the restaurant for staff and guests.”

“Everybody should be doing self symptom screening and temperature screening can be used to augment that,” Snyder said.

What other precautions should I take during my meal?

Experts emphasize that the same principles apply, “masks, sanitation, distancing – those are the keys.”

People obviously can’t wear a mask while eating, but it’s important to make sure that all the touchable items on the table and at the restaurant are frequently cleaned.

Practicing hand hygiene before you eat, after the bathroom, these are all important steps to keep yourself safe as possible from the virus. Avoid touching your nose, mouth and face throughout the dining.

In addition to decreasing the potential for surface contamination, it is also smart to maintain distance while dining and  perhaps your own hand sanitizer for quick use especially during the time your mask is off.

In terms of contracting the virus from your food, “very unlikely, experts say” – Nothing  the Food and Drug Administration reports to current status says that there is any evidence of  foodborne transmission of this virus.

Overall, is it safe to eat at a restaurant?

Experts agree that, depending on the local disease prevalence, it can be safe to dine at a restaurant when all the above precautions are taken very seriously. They also agreed that the key to reducing the risk of dining out is teamwork.

“It takes good focus on both sides of the equation,” experts say, “The restaurants are prepared, we’ve instructed them, and it’s just making sure that the guests feel equally comfortable and they follow the same guidelines.”

But, not everyone may feel comfortable with all these rules. For those people, “Nothing is going to be foolproof. … If we are that concerned, what’s the obvious answer? Stay home.”

Tell us about your experience or your establishment?

Reach out to  tracey@lakewinnipesaukee.net with comments and images, we’d love to add you to our experience. Lakes Winnipesaukee is a positive informational website and would enjoy hearing positivity rather than negativity. Certainly warranted in these difficult times. Sincerely; Stu and Tracey

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