Several parents are expressing their outage after a local restaurant recently made it apart of their policy to deny children entry into their establishment due to COVID-19.
The Machu Picchu Restaurant posted signs on their windows with the rules stating that in conjunction with CDC guidelines they will strictly adhere to CDC guidelines:
To all our loyal customers,please be advised that due to the resent increment in covid 19 cases, phase 2 will be…
Posted by Machu Picchu Restaurant on Friday, June 19, 2020
One family told reporters at CBS12 that they drove from West Palm Beach only to be turned away:
“He [employee] said CDC guidelines does not allow children in the restaurant,” said Maria Serrano “I was like, ‘What? Since when?’ He was like, ‘It’s on the door’.”
Serrano also expressed her concern that the restaurant is falsifying information given by the CDC stating that it is a CDC standard not to allow children into restaurants:
“I don’t even know where they got the $500 fine from, or even the CDC guidelines,” she said. “It’s not on there that says no children allowed in restaurants.”
Another patron told the publication that though she knows one of the owners, she does not agree with the misinformation the restaurant has put out:
“Can it be discrimination? I believe they can. You’re discriminating against an age group. That’s not legal,” she said. “What I can’t respect is a made-up rule that says CDC guidelines right above it. It’s falsifying information for me, and that’s the problem I have.”
Lawyers for the restaurant released a statement saying the message has been misconstrued and that the privately owned restaurant is within their rights to go beyond the CDC guidelines to protect their staff:
“Machu Picchu Restaurant’s first priority throughout this pandemic has always been, and continues to be, the health and safety of its valued customers and staff. For instance, Machu Picchu Restaurant not only requires masks to be worn inside the restaurant, but its staff gets tested for COVID-19 regularly, and cleaning stations and other measures have been implemented. While the guidelines themselves may not strictly require specific policies, Machu Picchu Restaurant is within its rights to go above and beyond the CDC guideline requirements and local ordinances in enacting safety measures for their private business. The sign has been misconstrued as stating what the guidelines are, when in fact the intention was to set forth particular policies that Machu Picchu Restaurant has in place for customer and staff health and safety during “phase 2,” which of course includes, but is not limited, to full CDC guideline compliance. Because Machu Picchu Restaurant has only limited indoor seating available, due to space constraints, reservations are required to ensure proper spacing of dine-in patrons and dine-in service is currently limited to adults wearing face masks. Machu Picchu Restaurant continues to encourage its customers to order food for pick up. Machu Picchu Restaurant looks forward to once again accommodating all guests as soon as it is safe and practical to do so.”
The restaurant also stated that while access to their restaurant is currently limited, they encourage customers to use their pick-up and delivery options.