Update: Where Restrictions are being Lifted for Food Services

Food businesses in some US states can begin reopening this week.
Food businesses in some US states can begin reopening this week.

April 28, 2020 — While the COVID-19 pandemic continues worldwide, some countries are beginning to see a reduction in cases and deaths as a result of the virus. This has prompted some countries to begin easing up on restrictions that have been put in place since the pandemic was declared. This is particularly hopeful for food businesses, who have seen significant losses and struggles since government-mandated closures were put in place and the pubic was urged to stay home.

The lifting of lockdown restrictions will vary week to week and country to country. The following is a list of areas that are lifting restrictions on food businesses for the week of April 27:

The United States


Governor Mike Dunleavy has announced the beginning of the first phase of his “Reopen Alaska Responsibly” plan. As of April 27, restaurants are allowed to reopen but must maintain a maximum of 25% capacity and only allow customers with reservations.


Governor Brian Kemp announced that restaurants and social pubs will be included in businesses that will be allowed to reopen following a loosening of restrictions. As of April 27, restaurants have begun to reopen but must follow 39 requirements if they do so; these requirements include no more than 10 customers per 500 square feet.


Governor Kim Reynolds announced that restaurants would be included in the businesses allowed to reopen across the state. Restaurants will be permitted to open in 77 of Iowa’s 99 counties, and can conduct in-person dining. Restaurants must keep tables 6 feet apart and cannot have more than 6 people at a table.


Governor Kevin Stitt announced that as of Friday, May 1, restaurants would be allowed to reopen and conduct in-restaurant dining statewide as long as phase 1 restrictions were followed. Phase 1 restrictions include spacing tables 6-8 feet apart and no more than 10 people at a table.


Governor Bill Lee announced that as of April 27, restaurants could begin to reopen in 89 of Tennessee’s 95 counties. Restaurants that reopen need to follow specific restrictions, which include maintaining a limit of 50% capacity.


Governor Greg Abbott announced that phase 1 of the state reopening begins on Friday, May 1. This reopening includes restaurants and malls but must maintain a 25% occupancy.

New Zealand

As of Monday, April 27 at 11:59 pm, New Zealand has officially lifted its Level 4 lockdown and has moved the country into Level 3 of lockdown. Level 3 allows restaurants to open up on a small scale, but they still cannot conduct dine-in service. However, food businesses are now permitted to conduct contactless deliveries and pick-up orders.