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Ban on in-person dining extended indefinitely in Oregon

Restaurants, bars and other businesses can continue to serve food for takeout and delivery.
Credit: KGW
Empty tables outside a Lake Oswego restaurant.

PORTLAND, Ore. — The ban on in-person dining at restaurants and bars in Oregon has been extended indefinitely, to align with the state’s stay-home order, Gov. Kate Brown announced on Tuesday.

As they have the last couple weeks, restaurants, bars and other businesses can continue to serve food for takeout and delivery. If they don’t comply with the governor’s orders, they could be subject to misdemeanor criminal charges.

The original dine-in prohibition, which was issued on March 16, was set to expire on April 14. Now, the rules restaurants have been following for the past three weeks will remain in effect until lifted by Gov. Brown.

“We all want to return to a day where we can frequent the restaurants and businesses that have given Oregon its well-deserved culinary reputation and provided so many jobs for Oregonians,” said Gov. Brown. “I wish I could say there was a date certain when that could happen. But it would be irresponsible to lift these restrictions in the middle of this outbreak.”

Over the weekend, Gov. Brown said she wanted to see a period of no deaths for 10 days or two weeks, and for the state to having the testing capacity "to test and do surveillance in communities around the state" before lifting restrictions on businesses. Brown said that is probably weeks away. 

The food service industry has been among the hardest hit during the coronavirus pandemic. Oregon received a record 92,700 unemployment claims last week. More than 15,000 of those claims were connected to the leisure and hospitality sector, which includes restaurants and hotels. That was the highest number of claims for any sector.

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