Birmingham issues guidelines to restaurants reopening and extends face covering rule to May 22

On Tuesday, with the approval of the city council, Birmingham extended its mandatory face covering ordinance to May 22. 

The city also released a set of guidelines developed by local restaurateurs and health officials to make sure people are safe, while the state and community slowly reopens during the COVID-19 crisis. 

At a late afternoon news conference, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin explained why the face covering rule had been extended and praised local residents for working together.

Three Purposes

Mayor Randall Woodfin speaking at the May 12, 2020 City of Birmingham news conference. Screenshot from City of Birmingham You Tube Video

In his opening statement, Woodfin reminded residents of Birmingham that the city is still under a state of emergency and  every decision the Mayor and City Council has made is done to address three purposes:

  1. Safe lives to prevent people from dying from COVID-19
  2. Prevent community spread
  3. Protect our healthcare workers by making sure there was not a run on local hospitals

He added that the city has been tremendously pleased over the past 7 weeks, expressing sincere gratitude for the work  residents have done to protect their own families, neighbors and the community as a whole.

“In a pandemic, a health crisis, we all have to shift our focus and commit to a “we”, “us” and “our” belief.  It is not about “me” or “I.”  We are in this together and with shared sacrifice, as a community, we will get through this together,” stated Woodfin.

Restaurant Guidelines – A Birmingham Solution

Post Office Pies was named one of the best pizzerias in the U.S. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Also discussed at the news conference, were the comprehensive guidelines released by the city of Birmingham.

“We wanted a Birmingham solution informed by Birmingham restaurant owners, as well as our local health experts, to make sure consumers, people who want to continue to patron a place that has meant  a lot to them, have the type of guidelines to continue to go there with confidence,” said Dr. Josh Carpenter, Director of Innovation and Economic Opportunity for the city.

According to Carpenter, the guidelines were developed by Jefferson County Public Health officials, UAB health experts, Pardis Stitt with Highlands Bar and Grill, Amanda Storey, Jones Valley Teaching Farms, Zebby Carney of Eugene’s Hot Chicken and John Hall of Post Office Pies. 

Carpenter described how they all developed the guidelines “arm in arm” to make sure people can feel confident at Birmingham restaurants and safe.

Read the Restaurant Guidelines and Face Covering Ordinance

The city has published the guidelines and face covering rules on their special Coronavirus webpage.

Here are their direct links:

Stay Tuned

Continue to follow Bham Now on all the emerging COVID-19 news.  And don’t forget to visit our LOCAL Business Directory  and Non-Profit Directory.

  • Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.