N.H. AG: Most Common Coronavirus Complaint Concerns Restaurants | New Hampshire Public Radio

N.H. AG: Most Common Coronavirus Complaint Concerns Restaurants

Jun 25, 2020

Nashua informs travelers of outside dining earlier this month. Besides take-out and delivery, N.H. restaurants operated by limited outdoor seating, under state guidelines. Gov. Chris Sununu lifted restrictions, allowing restaurants to have indoor dining June 15, with social distancing and face masks for employees.
Credit Genevieve Andress for NHPR

What happens when a restaurant doesn’t follow social distancing guidelines? Or when restaurant employees who interact with customers don’t wear their required face masks?

Violations of coronavirus guidelines usually end up in the hands of the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office by way of the phone number and email established for concerns regarding executive orders and guidelines.

Through a right-to-know request, NHPR has discovered that the office has received more than 150 complaints since May 21 related to businesses in breach of COVID-19 guidelines. The most frequent complaint revolves around masks and social distancing at restaurants.

The use of short term rentals by out-of-state residents, before those restrictions were lifted earlier this month, was the second most common complaint.  

In total, the Attorney General’s Office issued 30 violations, but has taken no formal legal action against any businesses.

If the complaint requires that the business be educated on the guideline, the Attorney General’s Office asks the local police department to step in.

New Hampshire’s Consumer Protection Bureau is also investigating a number of financial-related complaints, which includes travel companies and child care facilities that have continued to charge, or declined to offer refunds, despite coronavirus-related cancellations.

To submit a complaint or tip to the Attorney General’s office, call 603-271-1225 or email EO40issues@doj.nh.gov.

And check out NHPR's updated guide to what's open and what's not in New Hampshire, which includes links to the current guidelines for businesses and members of the public.