Eating and Dining Guidance

Important Update:

The Mayor’s Emergency Executive Order, the “Key to NYC" program, requires the university to post this sign or a similar one in a conspicuous place that is viewable by prospective patrons prior to entering certain indoor entertainment, recreation, food services, gym, and fitness premises where vaccines are now required. The sign alerts patrons to the vaccination requirement and informs them that employees and patrons are required to be vaccinated. Columbia affiliates should be advised that a green pass does not meet the "Key to NYC" requirements and individuals with approved religious or medical exemptions can not access these specific facilities. 

Where to Eat Safely

  • Outdoor eating and dining are preferred over indoor eating and dining in all cases. Vaccinated individuals not required to distance, while unvaccinated individuals required to distance (6 feet apart)
  • However, if outdoor arrangements are not feasible, the below guidance should be followed

Indoor Eating

This guidance applies to vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals: 

  • All must maintain 6-feet distancing
  • Minimize mask removal while eating when in presence of others
  • Eating in break room, conference room permitted with distancing (6 feet), with sequential scheduling recommended to maintain 6 foot distancing
  • Eating at workstations permitted with distancing (6 feet)
  • Eating at laboratory benches not permitted as a general rule of safety

Meetings, Seminars, Study Groups, or Other Gatherings

Food and drink are discouraged; but can be served with required distancing, particularly if necessary due to duration of the event.

Student-specific Guidance

  • Outdoor eating and dining are preferred over indoor eating and dining. Vaccinated individuals are not required to distance while unvaccinated individuals must distance (6 feet)
  • Indoor eating/dining: If outdoor arrangements are not feasible, the below guidance should be followed for indoor eating/dining by vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals with strict adherence to 6 foot distancing by all
  • Dining halls are grab-and-go service or with distanced seating (6 feet). Students will have the option for outdoor dining under tents and indoor dining (w/6 feet distancing)
  • Cafes are grab-and-go service or with distanced indoor seating (6 feet)
  • Eating with others indoors is allowed with distancing (6 feet) or alone in living space
  • Class or faculty-sponsored meetings in off-campus restaurants not permitted
  • When dining individually or with friends off campus take appropriate precautions, minimize indoor dining if possible, and avoid large groups.