All Together NM Guidelines

Before COVID-19, restaurants and food service employees kept our restaurants clean and food safe for customers. They are doing the same now, plus enhanced work practices recommended by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As stated in the recent State’s Public Health Order, restaurants operate under the following requirements.
– Adhere to Required COVID-Safe Practices for All Employers (p. 9).
– Adhere to Required COVID-Safe Practices for Retail Establishments (p. 11).

– Expansions of outdoor service areas must be approved by the appropriate local government agency. If service includes a liquor licensed premises, complete an application for approval through the Alcohol and Beverages Control (ABC) Division, which can be found on their website (

– Expansions of outdoor service areas must be approved by the appropriate local government agency. If service includes a liquor licensed premises, complete an application for approval through the Alcohol and Beverages Control (ABC) Division, which can be found on their website (

– The area must be open on at least three sides when in use for outdoor dining. Tent sidewalls may be added for security when the facility is not in use.

– Tents may be utilized if approved by the appropriate local government agency.

– Opening a garage door or all windows does not constitute an outdoor dining area..

Read Full All Together NM Document


JULY 30, 2020 – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state health officials on Thursday announced the state of New Mexico will extend its emergency public health order and keep intact existing public health restrictions and guidelines while the state continues to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The emergency public health order retains the state’s public health prohibition on mass gatherings and keeps in place temporary indoor occupancy restrictions for certain businesses, particularly indoor “close-contact” businesses such as restaurants and gyms.

Also unchanged is the statewide requirement that all individuals wear face coverings in public and that business operators require customers to wear face coverings upon entrance.

The governor will likewise renew her executive order mandating a temporary quarantine for individuals traveling into the state.





      COVID-19 Resource Links

      The New Mexico Restaurant Association helps to ensure that its members and the industry have access to the latest information to strengthen operations and communicate with their employees to mitigate risk. To address the coronavirus (COVID-19), we have put together a robust online resource with industry-specific guidance for restaurant owners and operators.

      5/12/20 – Gov. Lujan-Grisham & Reopening Plans w/ Wecks & NMRA

      5/13/20 – Business Interruption Insurance w/ Mark Dow, Esq.

      5/18/20 – COVID-19 Cleaner w/ NeoSan Labs

      5/22/20 – Reststaurant Reopening Requirements

      7/30/20 – What to do if Your Employee is COVID Positive

      5/27/20 – Outdoor Dining FAQ

      6/3/20 – Top 10 Reopening Questions

      COVID-19 Q&A

      NMED COVID-19 FAQs
      Does the 10 person limit apply to only customers, or are staff to be counted in the total?
      A: According to recent communications with Secretary Kunkle, it is advised that no more than 10 patrons should be inside your restaurant at any time.

      Will employers be notified if an employee has tested positive for coronavirus? Despite HIPPA I feel it is a public health concern especially where a restaurant is concerned. What should an employer do if an employee calls in stating he/she may have coronavirus?

      A: The information we have at this time is that the testing will increase over the upcoming weeks. This may result in employees testing positive. While it is unlikely that the medical providers will provide information about individuals who are tested, let alone tested positive, It is reasonable that an employer may require employee notification based on the public health issues and nature of the business. Clearly the food and service businesses are directly associated with public health through direct and indirect contact. Thus, requiring employees to stay home if they are ill, and to report that they are ill to the employer will be essential. The virus is said to manifest as a mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

      In addition, recommendations are that employers notify their employees and any customers if it is determined that an employee has tested positive. Unfortunately, determining who is at risk and who would be notified will be a matter of judgment and dependent on the circumstances. It will be important to consider what information would be properly provided. It is recommended that any personal information about the infected individual should not be provided.

      Information about what employees should do to minimize risk is crucial, as well. Fortunately, much of those recommendations are already part of the food and service industry – Good hygiene and responsible contact with others.

      It is likely that additional information will continue to be received over the following days. Our primary sources include CDC and the World Health Organization. We will work to keep you updated with relevant information and will respond to questions as they arise.

      Q: The order states that no standing patrons shall not be served. Does this mean that a patron standing at a counter to get take out (coffee, sandwich etc…) may not be served?

      A: Only “to-go” or “pick-up” orders may occur at the counter.

      Q:  Is this meant to state that patrons standing at a bar cannot be served for on premise dining or drink consumption?

      A: Correct

      Q:  Is any timeline as to when we might expect these restrictions to be lifted?

      A: No. The restrictions will remain in effect until Governor/DOH amends or lifts the public health order.

      Older News

      July 10, 2020 –  Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that due to the increase of community spread of COVID-19, the state will be reimplementing restrictions on indoor dining, breweries and state parks in an effort to reduce continued spread of the virus.

      Effective July 13, the emergency public health order will be amended to implement the following restrictions:
      • Indoor seating at restaurants and breweries is prohibited.
      • Restaurants and breweries may continue to operate patio or outdoor seating at 50% of maximum occupancy adhering to COVID-Safe Practices
      • Restaurants may continue to provide carry out and delivery service. Breweries may continue to provide curbside pickup service.
      • New Mexico State Parks are not open to out-of-state residents. Individuals who visit a state park must demonstrate proof of residency, such as a state ID or state-issued license plate.
      • Camping at state parks remains prohibited. To review the status of operations for all state parks, click here.
      • The face covering requirement will be strengthened to additionally require individuals to wear face coverings while exercising.

      June 1, 2020 – The Governor’s newset Public Health Order goes into effect today, allowing restaurants to reopen for dine-in service at 50% capacity with social distancing rules and sanitation enforced. Read Full PHO Here

      May 1, 2020 – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham extended her Public Health Order to May 15. – View new PHO

      The governor announced she would allow more businesses to open, starting May 1.

      • Non-essential retailers can operate via curbside service or delivery– where permitted by their license (Does not include liquor stores)
      • Gun stores will be allowed to operate by appointment only
      • Pet services will also be allowed to operate
      • Golf courses allowed to open for golf only- not dine-in food service or retai
      The governor also announced the businesses that will have to remain closed under the new health order, and other restrictions.
      • Offices, workspaces, retailers (except for curbside/delivery)
      • Dine-in restaurants and bars (except for curbside/delivery)
      • Indoor malls, gyms, salons, theaters and casinos to remain closed
      • Mass gatherings prohibited
      • 14-day quarantine order remains in place for out-of-state airport travel
      • New Mexicans should wear face coverings while they are out.

      April 23, 2020 – Governor Expected to Extend PHO Until May 15
      For the first time, state officials revealed some criteria that they said will be used to determine when it’s safe to relax New Mexico’s stay-at-home instruction. The Governor said she expects to extend the state’s public health orders through May 15. Read more here.

      April 22, 2020 – Clarification on Unemployment Work Requirements
      From the New Mexico Dept. of Workforce Solutions – View Document
      As you stated, the work search requirement has been stayed by the Secretary.  It was previously an internal policy that we were adhering to but has been put into an emergency rule effective on April 24, 2020.  (See 11.3.300.320 NMAC)  But with that said, once circumstances allow businesses to reopen and bring back employees, circumstances will arise whereby employees are asked to return to their regular jobs – whether merely just an increase in hours or return to full time positions.  If an employer has notified the employee of the ability to return to work (complete with a statement regarding the number of hours worked, the pay, the job duties), the Department considers this an offer of suitable work that may only be refused upon a showing of good cause. 

      The important parts to remember about this are that a claimant receiving benefits remains eligible so long as their wages are below the weekly benefit amount paid by the Department, which means employees must report their earnings to the Department when they certify, and employees must remain attached to the work force.   If an employee refuses to return and the employer determines that this is a “voluntary resignation” situation, the Department should be notified of the change in employment circumstances so that a new determination may be made as to the individual’s ongoing eligibility.   This would also be true in the case where an employer terminates the employee for failure to return to work as instructed, but would be determined under the misconduct standard making employer carry the burden of proof.

      Return-to-Work Notification to Send Employees – Statement regarding the number of hours worked, the pay, the job duties.

      April 7, 2020 – Food Establishments to Sell Convenience Items
      By selling products like toilet paper and other convenience items, restaurants and food establishments in New Mexico are helping citizens maintain social distancing and reducing strain on grocery stores during the coronavirus public health emergency.

      Many restaurants are offering grocery items for purchase alongside take-out and delivery items. The New Mexico Environment Department’s Food Program concurs that selling such items is in compliance with state and federal restaurant regulations.

      April 6, 2020 – Amended PHO w/ New Restrictions – April 30

      Gov. Michelle Lujan announced Monday that she is strengthening and extending her emergency order, which limits business in New Mexico, to April 30.
      • The new order requires all retail operations that are considered essential businesses – including grocery stores – to limit their occupancy. 
      • The maximum number of customers in the retail space must be equal to 20 percent or less of the maximum occupancy of the retail space, as determined by the relevant fire marshal or fire department. 
      • Customers who are waiting outside stores must be adhering to the social distancing guidelines of standing at least six feet apart. 
      • Liquor stores, payday lenders and auto dealership must stop in-person operations, according to the new order. 
      • The new order also forces hotels, motels, RV parks, and other places of lodging to reduce their maximum occupancy to 25%, which is a 25% reduction from the previous order.
        Read Full PHO Here

      April 3, 2020 – PPP Aplication Process
      The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.

      Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.
      • The application for borrowers can be found HERE 

      March 30, 2020 – COVID-19 Employee Rights Poster
      Employers should prominently display this poster in an area where it can be viewed by employees.
      Download Poster Here

      March 23, 2020 – The Governor of New Mexico has amended the Public Health Order to include a Stay-at-Home order. This means all businesses that are not explicitly outlined as essential should cease operations. Restaurants are deemed essential services and will be allowed to continue operating in a delivery and carry-out capacity. Also included in the order is a revision limiting the number of public gatherings to 5 individuals, this has been clarified to not include employees, but is only a limit on patrons. Read full PHO here.

      March 18, 2020 – The state has seen its COVID-19 cases rise to 28, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said during an update on New Mexico’s response Wednesday, including one new case being investigated as a possible instance of “community spread.”

      The pandemic led the governor to issue new orders, including:

      • Bars, breweries, restaurants will be limited to take out service and home delivery
      • Shopping malls, movie theaters, health clubs and spas are directed to close
      • Typical office environments should limit operations
      • Hotel and motels are to operate at no more than 50% capacity.

      March 27, 2020 – CARES Act Provisions

      What’s in it for Restaurants?
      The $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed in the Senate on Wednesday and is expected to pass in the House soon. This bill contains a number of provisions specific to restaurants, foodservice establishments, and our employees.

      Some of the key provisions include:

      SBA Loans
      The measure creates a $349 billion program for the SBA to offer unique loans to small businesses (500 or fewer employees). The loan amount is based on 250% of the borrower’s average monthly payroll cost for the preceding year (provisions for seasonal employers are included), up to $10 million. Collateral requirements are waived, and the “credit elsewhere” requirements (which have slowed down the process) have been waived as well. The loan is forgiven if used for payroll costs, mortgage interest, or rent/utilities.

      An exception was made to the small business requirement for restaurants and hotels. The 500-employee number is based on the number of employees at each physical location. So a restaurant with 600 employees over five restaurant properties would qualify for these loans. This ensures that a number of larger independent restaurants and franchise owners can participate.

      Tax Benefits
      The agreement offers restaurant owners relief in the form of Net Operating Loss (NOL) carrybacks, delay of payment of employer payroll taxes, and an Employee Retention Tax Credit.
      Qualified Improvement Property
      Restaurants can now immediately write off costs associated with improving facilities. The QIP fix is complete.

      What’s in it for Individuals?
      Among numerous provisions designed to help individuals impacted by the coronavirus, the CARES Act authorized one time stimulus payments for taxpayers that is expected to be distributed in the coming weeks.

      Most adults are expected get $1,200, although some will receive less. Single adults with Social Security numbers who have an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less would get the full amount. Married couples with no children earning $150,000 or less would receive a total of $2,400. And someone filing as head of household would get the full payment if they earn $112,500 or less. For every child age 16 or under, and additional $500 will be added to the payment.
      Read More Here

      March 25, 2020 – 
      NMDWS Not Charging Employers for Unemployment Claims
      Due to the increase in unemployment claims as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers have expressed a concern about how the Department will be charging for the benefits paid out. After review and guidance from the Department of Labor, NMDWS will not be charging employers for benefits paid out to claimants during this time.

      Non-charging of employers for all qualified claims shall begin with claims filed as of March 16th or later until further notice. Nonchargeability only applies in the event that employers respond timely and adequately to all correspondence and communications from the Department. Employers that fail to timely or adequately respond remain potentially liable in accordance with NMAC 1 l.3.300.308(C).

      Waiver of the charges for new claims related to COVID-19 separations will apply to both reimbursable and contributory employers.

      March 23, 2020 –  The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to all New Mexico small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced today. Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at

      March 20, 2020 – The New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department (TRD) has announced that New Mexico taxpayers qualify for extended return and payment deadlines due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic (emergency declaration) by the Federal Government and the COVID-19 statewide public health emergency declaration (Executive Order 2020-004) by the Governor of New Mexico Michelle Lujan Grisham. The extensions affect personal income tax, corporate income tax, and withholding tax.
      Read More Here

      March 19, 2020 –
      NMRA will be holding COVID-19 information conference calls for the New Mexico restaurant industry daily at 4 p.m. We will provide the latests updates as well as answer question. Make sure to join us here:

      March 18, 2020 – The Governor and state officials will be updating citizens today at 12:00 p.m./noon regarding the status of the Coronavirus.
      The address will be broadcast live on Facebook at
      The Legislative Council Service will livestream the update on its website,, under the “Webcast” tab.

      March 17, 2020 – The state of New Mexico has qualified for the Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan Assistance program to assist businesses negatively impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced today.

      The SBA is offering low-interest federal disaster loans up to $2M for working capital to small businesses and non-profit organizations suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19.

      There are two ways to learn more and begin a loan application:

      March 17, 2020 –  The state of New Mexico this week began assisting workers whose hours are reduced or who are laid off because of the COVID-19 public health emergency with applications for unemployment insurance benefits. Under a previously announced emergency provision to the Unemployment Insurance (UI) rules, the work search requirement for affected workers has been waived for up to four weeks by the Department of Workforce Solutions. This allows employees at businesses that close temporarily to access benefits without having to search for a new position while they wait for their employers to restart operations.There are two ways to file an initial claim:

      • Online by going to the New Mexico Workforce Connection Online System at Individuals can then access the UI Tax & Claims System. The online system is available to take initial claims and weekly certifications 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
      • ​By phone at 1-877-664-6984. The UI Operations Center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

      March 15, 2020 –  Beginning 9 a.m., Monday, March 16, the amended public health order directs that all restaurants, bars, breweries, eateries and other food establishments shall operate at no greater than 50 percent of maximum occupancy and no greater than 50 percent of seating capacity. In addition, tables and booths may not seat more than six people, and all occupied tables and booths must be separated by at least six feet. Patrons may not be seated at bars, and standing patrons will not be served. Read more here.

      March 12, 2020 – The New Mexico Tourism Department will be hosting a webinar on Friday, March 13, at 3:00 pm (MT) to provide a status update and to address critical questions and concerns regarding the Public Health Emergency in response to COVID-19. Click HERE to Register.

      March 12, 2020 – New Mexico Health Secretary Kathy Kunkel has announced a temporary ban on public gatherings of 100 people or more, as the state’s efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus have rapidly intensified.

      The ban, which took effect immediately, will apply to stadiums, arenas, conference centers and theaters.

      However, airports, public transportation and shopping malls are exempt from the order. It also will not apply to weddings, funerals, restaurants, bars, hospitals and schools — at least for now. Read the Full Gathering Ban Here.

      March 11, 2020 – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham issued a Public Health Emergency for the state of New Mexico in response to the first presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in New Mexico. Read full Emergency Declaration Here.