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You're vaccinated now, so can you go to a restaurant? What you should know

April 7, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 44.3%. 1 min read.

Photo by: STRF/STAR MAX/IPx 2021 3/24/21 Indoor dining continues to open up in New York City, but many diners prefer to eat outdoors.

Is eating at restaurants safe once you're fully vaccinated? Here's what experts have said about the risks and what precautions to take.

Indoor dining and drinking at restaurants and bars is riskier than some other places for a few reasons, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Not only are people from different households gathering in the same space, but you have to take your mask off to eat and drink.

And since restaurants can be noisy, people might talk louder and more forcefully, which could increase the chance of spreading coronavirus through respiratory droplets.

Depending on a restaurant's ventilation flow, respiratory droplets and air potentially laden with coronavirus can accumulate or spread beyond 6 feet.

Given these risks, the CDC's guidance on indoor restaurant dining is the same for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

Restaurants that reduce risks include establishments that have outdoor, distanced seating available; have both staff and guests wear masks when not eating or drinking; and have their menu available online.

Eating and drinking at an establishment's outdoor space is safer, the CDC says, since air or respiratory droplets potentially laden with coronavirus wouldn't be flowing around in an enclosed space.

Since your risk of infection increases the longer you stay in an area, limit the time you're at the restaurant, the CDC suggested.

However, if you're fully vaccinated and "can be separated from others by at least 6 feet and you're dining with somebody also fully vaccinated," Wen said, "I wouldn't have a limitation to that time period. " Whoever you're dining with should also be fully vaccinated.

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