Updated August 26, 2020

Effective immediately, all applications for county phase advancements under Governor Inslee's Safe Start plan have been put on hold indefinitely.  

On July 31st, several major updates were announced:

Effective July 30, wineries and tasting rooms in most counties are permitted to operate at 50% indoor capacity if they offer food service. This does not require a restaurant license. All social distancing requirements per Phase 2 Guidelines (see below) must be met indoors and outdoors. These updated guidelines do not impact outdoor service – there continues to be no requirement for food if you plan to remain operating only outdoors. 
On August 21, the WSLCB issued a new guidance document outlining food menu requirements for indoor seating for breweries, wineries, distilleries, and taverns. In order to resume indoor dining, wineries must:
  • Offer no less than three menu items meeting the food types as required under the Safe Start guidelines (such as sandwiches, salad, soup, pizza, hamburgers, fry orders, or substantial hors d'oeuvres/appetizers);
  • Obtain any required food service permit/license from their local jurisdiction;
  • Foods may be fresh, processed, pre-cooked, commercially pre-packaged and ready to eat, or frozen;
  • No additional handling or preparation is required beyond what is allowed under a brewery, winery, distillery, or tavern licensee’s local food handling permit;
  • Wineries, breweries, distilleries, and taverns may purchase items from a caterer, licensed food preparation/packaging operation (restaurant) for resale. Food must be purchased in advance and may not be sold on consignment;
  • Regardless of the food provided, breweries, wineries, distilleries, and taverns may only sell alcohol that they are licensed by LCB to sell;
  • If a winery, brewery, distillery, or tavern wants to become a Beer/Wine (BW) Restaurant or a Spirits/Beer/Wine (SBW) Restaurant before, during, or after Phase 4, they must submit an application to LCB to convert their license type and must meet the food requirements set forth at WAC 314-02-010(14) (BW Restaurant) or WAC 314-02-035 (SBW Restaurant);
  • These food service requirements are in addition to the COVID-19 restaurant guidance and restrictions, and are set forth in efforts to allow limited non-restaurant liquor license businesses an opportunity to operate with indoor service during Phase 2 and 3 of the governor’s proclamation. The intent is to allow limited operations mitigating the risk of COVID-19 infection spread, by avoiding social gatherings and primarily social drinking outlets;
  • These food service requirement will be in place until phase 4 reopening of businesses, and may be modified in response to governor and public health guideline changes

Outdoor seating: For outdoor seating, a temporary structure may be used. Outdoor structures (temporary or permanent) should have no more than two walls to provide appropriate ventilation. The limitation on walls applies to both rigid and flexible walls. We have included a link and description of options for expanding the outdoor space of your winery tasting room below. 

Bar seating remains closed. This is defined as the area with a bar table/counter where patrons sit or stand side-by-side across where alcoholic drinks and refreshments are served. Counter-style seating is permitted in other areas of the establishment (indoors or outdoors). Six feet of distance is required between parties and other tables.

Effective on August 27, Yakima, Benton & Franklin counties are permitted to operate at 25% indoor capacity and 50% outdoor capacity. Previously, only outdoor seating was permitted. All other social distancing guidelines and food guidelines as outlined above must be in place.

  • In Yakima County, only members of the same household may be seated together outside. 
  • In all other counties, customers may be seated outdoors with people from outside of their household. 
  • In all counties, only groups from the same household may be seated together indoors, and only with food service as outlined above.
  • In all cases, there is a maximum of 5 people per table. 

10 PM Closing Time: Winery tasting rooms and other impacted businesses will need to close each evening by 10 PM. 

Close Any Vending or Game-like Activities: All vending or gaming-like activities outside of being seated and dining/drinking are not allowed.  Examples include pool, video games, and similar attractions that create high-traffic touch points. 

Every Washingtonian in an indoor public space, or in an outside public space when unable to physically distance from others, is legally required to wear a face covering.

As of July 7, businesses statewide are required to refuse service to any customers refusing to wear a face covering. This includes both indoor and outdoor service. 

Exemptions include:

  • Children under the age of two should not wear face coverings. Children ages three and four are encouraged, but not required to wear a face covering.
  • Exemptions also include those with certain medical conditions who may be adversely impacted by wearing a facial covering. 
  • Customers may remove face coverings while seated (eating and drinking) or communicating with a person who is deaf or hard of hearing.


  • For outdoor areas that do not change the size of the physical space (ex; moving chairs and tables), temporary alterations to the space will not need to be approved by the LCB until Phase 4.
  • For outdoor spaces that will change the size of the physical space, changes will need to be requested by the licensee to the LCB.
  • The LCB may allow extensions to the outdoor space as long as:
    • the licensee has leasehold authority of the space
    • it does not extend on a commercial area, and
    • the 42’’ barrier requirement does not need to be permanent but does need to meet the height requirement
  • Wineries are allowed a picnic area contiguous to the winery for outdoor space as long as it meets all the requirements of what LCB requires for an outdoor space

Download the WSLCB's premise alteration request here.

All other operations and safety guidelines follow the phase your county is in. 

Here is the current list of counties, by phase:
Modified Phase 1 (Phase 1.5): Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Franklin, Yakima
Phase 2: Adams, Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grant, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Klickitat, Okanogan, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, Spokane, Walla Walla, Whatcom
Phase 3: Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Grays Harbor, Island, Kittitas, Lewis, Lincoln, Mason, Pacific, Pend Oreille, Skamania, Stevens, Thurston, Wahkiakum, Whitman
Phase 4: No Counties


Phase 2: Reopening Guidelines, Best Practices, and Checklist

NOTE: See above for current restrictions. As of July 30, all reopening guidelines below apply to outdoor service at 50% capacity only.​

Governor's Phase 2 Reopening COVID-19 Requirements
The Governor’s office is asking every business to adopt a written procedure for dine-in service that is at least as strict as the Phase 2 requirements, as linked above. The businesses must ensure strict adherence to all measures established by the State of Washington, DOH, DOL & L&I. 

Phase 2 Reopening Guidelines, Best Practices, and Checklist
State leaders worked with Byron Marlow, Professor of Hospitality Management at WSU, to put together a comprehensive list of guidelines and suggested best practices for wineries:

We worked with our industry partners to put together a FAQ with answers informed by state government officials. This will be updated regularly.

Phase 3

Any business operating in a Phase 3 county must have a written safety plan.



Governor's Office:
Resource Page
Risk Assessment Dashboard
Phased Approach to Reopening
Phase 2 Reopening Guidelines

Washington Wine Institute:
State and Federal Resources for Employers & Employees

Washington Winegrowers:
Resource Page

Washington Retail Association:
Resource Page

Health Resources:
Washington: Department of Health
National: CDC

Regional Travel & Tourism: 
Visit Seattle


MEDIA: If you have an inquiry related to COVID-19 please reach out to Heather Bradshaw, Communications Director, hbradshaw@washingtonwine.org or (206) 495-5844.