Restaurant and Cafes Protocols

Professionals & Health Workers

Last updated: 2-7-1442



Protocols for restaurants and cafes


  • Eating is allowed inside the restaurant
  • The working hours shall be the same as before the precautionary measures and according to the regulations governing, except for any new directives that may be implemented in this regard
  • Offering hookah and tobacco for hookah’s is prohibited
  • Play areas in restaurants to be closed except for restaurants who are designated for the purpose of entertainment, with areas that are spacious enough to apply social distancing. These restaurants must adhere to the protocols of entertainment places in terms of reducing the capacity, sanitizing games, preventing crowding, and so on.

Hygiene and health

  • Customers must wear a cloth mask or something that covers the nose and mouth at any time inside food or beverage serving facilities, unless the person is eating or drinking in the designated area.
  • All employees in restaurants must cover their nose and mouth with a mask at all times.
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitizers should be provided in any place designated for serving food in clear sight and easy access.
  • Emphasis on washing hands routinely and repeatedly for forty seconds each time at least during work shifts, either by using water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for a period of not less than twenty seconds in the absence of soap and water, especially at the following times:
    • Prior to food preparations
    • Prior to serving food to customers
    • After using the bathroom
    • After contact with body fluids and secretions
    • After direct contact with co-workers or customers
    • After coming into contact with potentially contaminated items (such as gloves, clothing, masks, and trash)
    • Immediately after removing gloves or masks
  • In efforts to reduce what customers touch, it is prohibited to use multi-use food menus (whether plastic, paper or electronic touch screens). Only barcode scanners are permitted for customers to access the menu through their mobile phones.
  • Clean utensils well, make sure they are disinfected with an approved disinfectant and dry them before reusing them for serving or cooking food.
  • In reference to buffets, items that require frequent customer contact must be removed, such as: food container covers, spoons and tongs. A person can be allocated to take over the task of opening covers and serving the customers provided that he adheres to wearing personal protection gear such as masks and gloves, and that customers maintain social distancing when waiting in the buffet line.
  • Sanitize surfaces that people frequently touch such as door handles, water faucets, public seats, etc. Adopt solutions that limit contact as much as possible by implementing sensory detection or other means that do not require direct contact.
  • Cloth table covers may be used as long as they are changed and cleaned after each use.
  • Surface must be disinfected frequently with disinfectants approved by the Food and Drug Authority (by using sodium hypochlorite, such as chlorine disinfectant or the like).
  • First clean the surfaces and remove any dirt by using a brush and then using soap and water or detergent.
  • Providing personal protection tools for workers such as fabric masks or something that covers the nose and mouth, hair nets and a single-use gowns.
  • Wearing of personal protective equipment by workers in high-risk departments, such as: chefs and cooks, food production workers, and those who prepare drinks routinely, and changing them continuously.
  • Preparing disinfectant solutions and using them according to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the safety and health of disinfection workers, ensure the use of personal protective equipment, and to avoid mixing different chemical disinfectants together.
  • Ensure that hand sanitizers contain 60-80% alcohol and meet the requirements of the Food and Drug Authority.
  • Tissue paper should be distributed and placed in prominent places.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting the restrooms periodically throughout the day, making sure there is good ventilation, reducing the temperature, and constantly monitoring them.
  • Regularly change or clean the air filters for ventilation systems, especially air conditioners.
  • Ensure that there are trash bins that work without the need to touch them, and that waste is collected frequently and disposed of continuously.

Social distancing and remote work

  • Apply social distancing protocols in specific areas in the restaurant, such as, receiving orders and waiting areas ensuring a distance of one and a half meters between individuals. Family members are to be treated as one individual and social distancing is not required between them.
  • Establish a mechanism to prevent crowding of customers at the entrances of restaurants, cafes, or waiting areas by using pre-booking electronic applications or by phone or waiting in the car.
  • Individuals are prohibited from waiting inside the restaurant, either to get orders or to get a table.
  • Redistribution of food preparation areas to ensure the application of social distancing or placing barriers between workers that face each other.
  • Reduce the number of employees in food preparation areas to prevent overcrowding.
  • Organizing employees into groups or form shifts to reduce the amount of contact between employees
  • Prevent crowding in bathrooms and ablution sinks by placing floor stickers or disabling the use of a number of bathrooms or sinks to ensure a safe distance of one and a half meters between each person.
  • Prevent crowding at entrances and exits
  • Prevent crowding at escalators and stairs by placing floor stickers to ensure social distancing of no less than one and a half meters.
  • Tables in dining areas must be arranged to ensure at least 3 meters distance between the tables. If there is more than one dining hall, partitions and barriers are not considered separators between them and a complete separation of the halls is required. If it is not possible to apply the spacing of 3 meters between tables then that restaurant is prohibited to serve food inside.
  • Elevator capacity should be reduced, and floor stickers should be placed to ensure social distancing of at least 1.5 meters between individuals.
  • The number of people allowed on one table should not exceed five people, even if they are from the same family or the same group of friends.
  • With regard to restaurants that do not have dining tables, the following must be adhered to:
    1. If the restaurant is designed in the form of floor seating dining rooms that are separated by dividers and cannot be modified, then the rooms that are located between two other rooms will be closed off to ensure there is at least one and a half meters between the rooms.
    2. Inside each dining room, floor stickers must be placed to indicate seating locations and ensure at least a 3-meter distance between where the food is placed.
  • Ensure that CCTV surveillance cameras are activated and that they cover all areas of the restaurant, cafes and the like, especially the dining areas and the accounting area. Records must be kept for a minimum of three days to enable the government monitoring auditor to view them at any time and verify the implementation of preventive measures.
  • It is prohibited for more than one group to be at one table.

Monitoring symptoms

  • Setting up check points at all entrances, temperatures will be measured with a device approved by the Food and Drug General Authority.
  • Train officials at the check points on the method of examination and the use of a temperature measuring device.
  • Employees in charge of preparing food and beverages to the community and all the workers will have their temperatures measured on a daily basis before the start of the workday. Temperatures will be recorded along with contact information in a specific record book.
  • Customers must have their temperature checked before they are allowed into the restaurant or coffee shop.
  • Any employee responsible for preparing food and beverage services, that show symptoms similar to influenza (fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat) will be prohibited to work or enter the facility until the symptoms have resolved according to the attending physician’s report.
  • Prevent customers who have a high temperature or respiratory symptoms from entering the restaurant or coffee shop.
  • If a worker has a high temperature or is showing any respiratory symptoms (such as a cough or shortness of breath) and are suspected of being infected with Covid-19, they will be reported and prohibited from entering the facility, their identification and contact details will be taken, 937 will be called immediately for further directions and protocols required to refer them to the hospital.
  • In the event that a confirmed case is registered for a worker, the protocols approved by Weqaya, Saudi Center for Disease Prevention and Control and the Ministry of Health must be applied.


  • Post signs at the entrance of restaurants and cafes informing customers that they will not be allowed to enter the facility if they are experiencing any respiratory symptoms similar to those experienced by Covid-19.


  • All employees including those that prepare the food and beverage services to the community must be educated about the symptoms of the virus, the means of transmission and its severity. They must be made aware that they must avoid going to work in the event of any respiratory symptoms (coughing or shortness of breath) or a high temperature.
  • Educate employees and food service providers about the need to disclose any respiratory symptoms (coughing or shortness of breath) or high temperature they might be experiencing by calling 937 and following the home isolation instructions.
  • Distribute awareness leaflets in all restaurants and cafes in prominent places. The leaflets should be translated into a variety of languages and should include the following:
    • Methods of how the virus spreads and prevention protocols.
    • Raise awareness of the importance of washing hands and avoiding touching the eyes, nose and mouth before washing hands, and urging them to pay attention to personal care and health care.
    • Follow the etiquette of sneezing and coughing (use the tissue and dispose of it as soon as possible, use the elbow by bending the arm).
    • Continuous reminder of the importance of adhering to the safety instructions, protection from the virus, and limiting customers overcrowding the facility.
    • Educating and urging elderly customers and those with chronic diseases to stay home and refrain from visiting restaurants and cafes.
  • A sign should be placed that includes a statement of violations that should not be committed and the methods of reporting them.
  • Employee someone to organize the use of elevators and stairs.

Appendix (A): People that are at a higher risk of contracting the virus

Health Protocols for suspending attendance at workplaces to be attached to a medical report during the Covid-19 pandemic
Health Restriction Description
Those above the age of 65
Chronic lung disease, or severe asthma Those who have been admitted to the hospital at least once in the past six months.
Chronic Heart Disease 1. Myocardial insufficiency.

2. Coronary artery disease with a single cardiac episode in the past year.

Hereditary immunodeficiency
Acquired immunodeficiency 1. Acquired immunodeficiency.

2. The use of immunosuppressive drugs.

3. Use of cancer treatment drugs.

Obesity BMI> 40
Chronic medical conditions 1. Uncontrolled diabetes, which required admission at least once in the past six months.

2. High blood pressure disease, which required admission at least once in the past six months

3. Renal failure (dialysis).

4. Liver cirrhosis.