Colorado bars can reopen this weekend for up to 50 people after coronavirus shutdown

Bars across Colorado can officially reopen Friday, according to new guidelines released by the state.

While restaurants still will operate at 50% capacity or up to 50 people indoors, bars “where patrons go for the primary purpose of beverage consumption” may open at 25% occupancy or up to 50 people indoors, according to the guidelines.

Bars can also take advantage of outdoor bar service alongside their indoor operations, the guidelines say.

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The state’s new rules also add an exemption for “extra large venues” (classified as 7,200 square feet or larger), so they may hold more than 50 people, and up to 100 drinkers or diners. The state’s online social distancing calculator is meant to help venues determine their new capacities for indoor and outdoor events.

Prior to Friday’s announcement, Colorado bars and restaurants were allowed to reopen primarily for food service. The new rules still require bar patrons to be seated at tables that are spaced at least six feet apart.

This weekend, diners also can take advantage of expanded outdoor dining on Denver streets — so far just portions of Larimer Square and Glenarm Place — that have been temporarily closed to vehicles to allow for greater social distancing.

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