By CBJ News Staff

The Iowa City Downtown District (ICDD) has introduced a new Downtown Pledge in partnership with the Iowa Restaurant Association. The pledge is both a business pledge to follow mandated and additional COVID-19 safety measures as well as a call out to patrons to pledge to support social distancing measures downtown.

“A pledge is a promise between two parties, in this case hospitality establishments and their patrons. If communities are truly serious about slowing the spread of COVID-19, it is important to stress that everyone play their part,” Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association, stated in a release. “Responsible actions by business owners alone won’t have near the impact that a collaboration including community members, students and visitors to Iowa City could have.”

The Downtown Pledge program was developed to share what ICDD businesses are doing to implement safety protocols and educate the public. These protocols are currently in place and will support the re-opening of businesses if Gov. Kim Reynolds lifts restrictions placed on bars, wineries, breweries and nightclubs in Johnson and Story counties through Sept. 27.  

The pledge has two parts – a business pledge, supported by the Iowa Restaurant Association, and a patron pledge.  

“We hope the campaign shines a light on those bars and restaurants that are working hard to implement COVID-19 safety mandates while also encouraging guests to do their part. It takes us all working together,” Joe Reilly, Iowa City Downtown District’s nighttime mayor, stated in a release.  

With support from the city of Iowa City, the patrons pledge has been placed by decal on the sidewalk in front of downtown bars. One of the primary goals of the patrons pledge is to share consistent education that will support all venues. The patron’s pledge is a reminder to customers to stay seated, keep their face coverings on when they are not eating or drinking, to keep them on when going to the restroom and to social distance when on the public sidewalk, among other things. CBJ