Rhode Island restaurants now allowed to offer outdoor dining

Rhode Island State House. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s restaurants are allowed to offer some outdoor dining starting Monday, but some eateries are taking a wait-and-see approach.

Under Gov. Gina Raimondo’s plan to restart the economy during the coronavirus pandemic, restaurant capacity is limited to no more than 20 seated tables at any given time; parties are limited to a maximum of five people; tables must be at least eight feet apart; and reservations are required.

Restaurants can also continue to offer takeout, delivery and drive-thru service.

Kevin Gaudreau, owner of KG Kitchen Bar in Providence, tells WPRI-TV he is holding off for now and plans to keep his business closed. He said he wants to wait a few weeks to see how outdoor dining plays out, adding he doesn’t want to invest in reopening, only to have to close again later.

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MENTAL HEALTH HELP

The University of Rhode Island’s Family Therapy Clinic is offering free help for families stressed out by the pandemic.

The clinic’s “Keeping It Together” program is offering video or phone meetings with advanced masters-level students skilled in family and couple conflict resolution, parenting techniques and coping strategies.

Two meetings are being offered free, with followup phone check-ins upon request.

“Sometimes it just takes talking with someone who can listen and offer new perspectives and suggestions to help keep it together,” program coordinator Jaqueline Sparks said in a statement Monday.

All services are supervised by faculty members who are licensed marriage and family therapists.