How safe are those outdoor dining tents, really?
In the midst of the pandemic, many restaurants are doing whatever they can in order to survive. And that means using outdoor dining tents! But how safe are they really when it comes to avoiding COVID-19?
With winter coming, many states are about to deal with freezing cold temperatures, inclement weather, and the sun setting much earlier in the day. And that is going to cause problems for many restaurants who are already struggling in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many restaurants have turned to outdoor dining tents in order to allow for more diners to enjoy eating out again. However, the question is whether these tents are actually safe? According to Mashed, the answer to this question is not as clear cut as a simple yes or no.
What makes the outdoor dining tents safe?
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According to a University of Toronto professor of civil engineering, Jeffrey Siegel, “As [structures] become more fully enclosed, they become the same as an indoor environment or in some cases, worse, with a relatively closed volume of air.” And that is not a good thing. Honestly, it basically defeats the entire purpose of offering outdoor dining as an option.
However, it seems that there are options that will allow these tents to remain a viable option for restaurants to offer their patrons a safe way to dine with them. Obviously wearing a warm jacket will help, but if the restaurant has a warmer in the tent that will help. It is also important that there be at least two sides open in the tent to allow for fresh air to flow through and keep dangerous particles from gathering in the area.
And for those individual bubbles and tiny tents that are popping up as well, the most important thing is to make sure that they have been allowed to air out for at least 15 minutes before new people enter the bubble. It is also important that every surface is wiped down so that you don’t accidentally bump into a surface that has collected particles that could possibly be contaminated.
Clearly there are ways to make it so that those outdoor dining options are still safe to eat in even in the midst of the pandemic. And it is important that if we want to enjoy these options, we are just as vigilant as the restaurants themselves.
Have you eaten in one of these outdoor dining tents? What did you think? How do you think restaurants will handle the winter months? Tell us in the comments.