DENVER, May 19, 2020: Today, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released draft proposed guidelines for restaurants to stakeholders. Stakeholders can submit comments to this draft through Friday, May 22 using this online form. Once final, these guidelines will be used when it is safe to start easing COVID-19 related safety restrictions for restaurants. On May 25, the state will decide if restaurants can begin reopening and at what level. This date does not reflect when restaurants may or may not open.

Colorado is still in the Safer at Home phase of this pandemic and the state continues to encourage everyone to stay at home as much as possible. Critical businesses are open and non-critical businesses are operating with restrictions. Existing guidance for businesses that can operate is available at

As Colorado continues Safer at Home, there are a number of criteria the state is considering when making decisions on what can be reopened safely.

  • What level of suppression of the virus has been achieved?

  • What is the ability to do testing and containment?

  • Will this decision put vulnerable populations at significantly greater risk?

  • Does the health care system have the capacity to handle a surge?

  • What’s the level of risk vs. societal / economic / psychological reward? 

  • Is the policy sustainable?

On May 11, Governor Jared Polis provided an update for when decisions would be possibly made around whether or not Colorado can begin to reopen other industries or loosen restrictions. These dates do not reflect when an industry may or may not open, only when the state will have more data to inform a decision around when they may be able to open and at what level. 

  • May 25 - the state will decide whether ski resorts can be open for Spring skiing. Resorts will only open if the host county wants them open.

  • May 25 - the state will decide if restaurants can begin reopening and at what level. 

  • May 25 - the state will decide if summer residential and day camps can open in June, and if so, under what conditions.

  • After June 1 - the state will decide if the Safer at Home order can be further modified to phase in other things like summer activities and public spaces like libraries. The Governor will make these decisions on a rolling basis, based on the latest data and evidence.