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Catering will restart on May 18, and Inail (National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work - INAIL) issued a regulation. Let's see the main rules and the moment that this sector is experiencing

Here we are: on May 18 the catering sector will restart, and almost all the regions will reopen bars, bathing establishments, restaurants, and clubs. Why “almost all”? Because every region will make its own choices: based on what the government will establish, the regions will be able to choose more restrictive (not permissive) rules. Therefore, everyone takes into account the regional peculiarities but, basically, the regulations to be followed will be those established by the Inail, rules that we are going to evaluate together.

It has already happened that the dictates of the Inail have come into conflict with those of the regions. For instance, in the Marche region, where a distance of 3 meters between each row of beach umbrellas has been established (for the Inail, on the contrary, it must be 5 meters), and 4.6 meters, but up to 2 can be waived, 3 in case of mitigation of the epidemic, between one umbrella and another (Inail sets it at 4.5 meters). For the region, the sun loungers must be 1.5 meters apart for Inail 2.

In short, beyond the usual chaos caused by the many responsible authorities, here are the Inail’s determinations, to be followed for those who, from May 18, want to reopen their activity.

Containment measures in the restaurant sector

Here, then, are the dictates of Inail for the restaurateurs to prevent and avoid new infections:

Organizational, prevention and protection measures in the restaurant service

The current legislation on the organization of catering premises does not provide specific rules on spacing but very flexible indications, up to a surface area per sitting customer equal to 1.20 square meters, with any specific regional provisions. It follows that the issue of social distancing takes on an aspect of great complexity, also considering that it is not possible, during the service, the use of masks by customers and that protracted visit can also contaminate, in the case of subjects infected with SARS-COV-2, surfaces such as, for example, crockery and cutlery.

Another important aspect is the exchange of natural air and the ventilation of the confined spaces concerning the toilets, which often lacks the possibility of natural ventilation. Therefore, organizational measures relating to space management and procedures such as individual hand and room hygiene are crucial. In the first place and especially during the first phase, solutions that favor the use of outdoor spaces over closed ones should be preferred and system solutions that choose these methods.

The layout of the catering businesses should, therefore, be changed with a remodeling of the tables and seats, ensuring the spacing between tables – also taking into account the staff’s movement space – not less than 2 meters and in any case, it should be guaranteed among the customers during the meal (which necessarily takes place without a mask), a distance capable of avoiding the transmission of droplets and by contact between people, also including indirect transmission via dishes, cutlery, etc .; also through specific containment and mitigation measures.

Seating must be arranged in such a way as to ensure adequate spacing between customers, for the reasons previously reported and bearing in mind that it is not possible to predetermine membership in cohabitation units. In any case, a predetermined maximum capacity limit must be defined, providing for a space that should normally not be less than 4 square meters for each customer, without prejudice to the possibility of adopting organizational measures such as, for example, dividing barriers.

The shifts should be organized innovatively, and with compulsory reservation, it can be a useful organizational tool for sustainability and prevention of gatherings of people waiting outside the venue. Buffet or similar service methods must be eliminated. In order to mitigate the risks associated with contact with surfaces, innovative solutions must be introduced.

It is advisable to use alternative menu presentation formats (for example, menus should be written on whiteboards, which can be consulted via apps and sites, menus of the day printed on disposable sheets). Customers must wear the mask in preparatory activities or after the meal at the table (for example, cash payment, transfers, use of toilets). Electronic contactless payments and the possibility of separating barriers in the cashier area should be preferred.

It is necessary to make sanitizing products available to customers and staff in several places in the business and, in particular, for access to the toilets, which must be sanitized frequently. At the end of each table service, all the usual sanitation measures will have to be provided, concerning the surfaces, avoiding as much as possible reusable if not sanitized tools and containers (salt, oil cruet, vinegar cruet, etc.).


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Fabrizio Doremi
My name is Fabrizio Doremi and I am a mathematician. I started working as an IT consultant when I was 21, then I followed for six years the development of the project:, at age 28 I founded Wiloca, and I was responsible for the digital restyling of Gambero Rosso (an Italian guide). In this scenario I had the idea of Foodiestrip. It is reality now. Since I'm in my forties I decided it was about time to go back to school for a degree in Communication. Just in case the numbers will finish I'll always have words.