Use your best judgment. Consider the restaurant: are the tables spaced apart? Are servers correctly wearing masks when they approach your table? Are those preparing food in the kitchen wearing masks? Also, take a look at your local community. "If there is a lot of virus circulating, maybe wait to go to a restaurant," suggests Dr. Juthani. If the level of cases is decreasing where you live, the risk of going out to eat is much lower.
If you're eating indoors, make sure the restaurant has good ventilation with open windows or doors, suggests Flynn. If you're eating outside, ensure that there is proper social distancing — that tables are spread apart or blocked off — and that the restaurant is managing the environment with routine cleaning.
Finally, consider your risk tolerance. For the time being, eating out at a restaurant is not risk-free. "For the time being without a vaccine and without effective therapies to combat COVID-19, there is always going to be a risk. But these risks can be mitigated by these different pillars of infection control we have in place," explained Flynn.