Outdoor seating still has to be distanced, local health officials clarify

MADISON, Wis. — Public Health Madison and Dane County is announcing an update to its latest health order, which is scheduled to take effect later this week.

Officials are amending Order #16 to include a provision clarifying that outdoor seating at restaurants and taverns is allowed, and while no outdoor gathering limits are in place, seating must still be spaced 6 feet apart between people who are not members of the same household. People visiting those places also must be seated at their table at all times when they’re not moving.

Similar provisions have been included in previous orders, but officials say it was inadvertantly not included in the first version of Order #16, which was announced last week.

The new order goes into effect on Wednesday, May 5 at 12:01 a.m. and also increases indoor capacity for all restaurants, taverns and businesses to 75% capacity as long as distancing between tables can be accomodated. However, many restaurant owners say space limitations will prevent them from allowing a full 75% inside.

You can read the full order from PHMDC below, or at this link on their website.