DUNWOODY — The city of Dunwoody is barring restaurants within the city from dine-in service due to the coronavirus outbreak.
During an emergency special called meeting Wednesday night, the Dunwoody City Council unanimously approved temporary dining restrictions for Dunwoody bars and restaurants to reduce the risk of exposure to coronavirus for employees and the public.
The emergency ordinance advises establishments to cease dine-in services immediately, but enforcement won’t begin until Friday, March 20 at 9 p.m. to allow time to prepare for the changes.
“This is an extraordinary measure, but these are extraordinary times,” said Dunwoody Mayor Lynn Deutsch. “I empathize with restaurant owners. This is crushing to me. But we are in the middle of a public health crisis. We need to encourage people to stay home and discourage them from gathering.”
The emergency ordinance requires bars, restaurants, or businesses that sell food or beverages for consumption on premises to close in-person dining. Those establishments can stay open and offer delivery, takeout, drive-thru and curbside service instead.
Establishments that are authorized to sell beer and wine on premises will be allowed to sell unopened beer and wine for takeout while this emergency ordinance is in effect.
While providing takeout, establishments are required to limit access and provide enough room so that customers and staff can keep a safe distance.
Dunwoody’s emergency ordinance will be in effect for 30 days but can be lifted sooner than that by a vote of Council. “We can change this at any time as things get better,” Deutsch said. “I hope everyone will continue to support our restaurants by ordering takeout or delivery and enjoying their meals at home.”