The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) has issued compliance orders to ten restaurants and bars so far this week for failing to comply with a range of public health directives related to COVID-19. Additional compliance orders may be issued.
In many instances, inspectors observed staff and patrons not wearing masks, staff and patrons not practicing social distancing, and establishments not screening patrons for symptoms of COVID-19. Many of the establishments that were issued orders did not meet the requirements for separation at their bar areas. (Customers were seated at bar areas and were being served from behind the bar without the necessary physical barriers in place.) A full list of requirements for restaurants is available online.
"There are restaurants throughout Rhode Island that are doing a great job welcoming and serving customers in a way that is healthy and safe," said Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH. "The few that are not are hurting the entire industry, jeopardizing the safety of their customers, and setting Rhode Island back in our work to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As residents, business owners, and a state, we need to be more vigilant now than ever."
Restaurants and bars can either receive a compliance order or an immediate compliance order. An establishment that receives a compliance order can remain open but will be re-inspected in 10 days to ensure that the establishment is meeting all health and safety requirements. An establishment that receives an immediate compliance order must close immediately because the violations documented represent an imminent threat to public health. In some situations, restaurants and bars that were generally compliant with safety regulations received partial immediate compliance orders or combination orders which allow them to remain open but require that bar areas be closed until the establishment can comply with all safety regulations.
- Theater Tap Bar, in Pawtucket - Pasha Hookah Lounge and Bar, in Providence - Boulevard Grille and Cigar Lounge, in Pawtucket
Immediate Compliance Order
- Tafino Restaurant and Lounge, in Providence
Partial Immediate Compliance Orders
- PJs Pub, in Narragansett - Morse Tavern, in Coventry
Combination Compliance Order and Immediate Compliance Orders
- Buffalo Wild Wings, in Warwick - Fairlawn Golf Course, in Lincoln - O'Rourke's Bar and Gill, in Warwick - Lifestyle Nutrition, in Providence
These compliance orders and all other COVID-19 related compliance orders are posted online on the website of the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation (https://dbr.ri.gov/decisions/decisions_task_force.php).