A Chinese restaurant chain in California is checking customers' body temperatures and turning diners away amid coronavirus fears


coronavirus temperature
A woman has her body temperature checked amid the coronavirus outbreak.

AP Photo/Vincent Thian

  • Sichuan Impression, a Chinese restaurant chain in California, has begun checking the body temperature of all of its customers before they enter.

  • The restaurant, which has several locations, is also monitoring the temperature of its employees.

  • The food industry around the work is changing in order to deal with coronavirus concerns.

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A Chinese restaurant with several locations in California has started checking the temperature of customers before they enter their stores.

If someone were to arrive at one of the Sichuan Impression shops with a temperature that is higher than 99.8, they would be turned away, according to the Orange County Register. 

"We have family in China, so we understand the importance of doing everything we can to protect both our customers and our workers," co-owner Kelly Xiao told the Register. "Everybody has a responsibility to do what they can do."

The US has reported at least 568 coronavirus cases in total across 34 states. Twenty-two people in the US have died from the coronavirus: 19 in Washington state, two in Florida, and one in California.

Sichuan Impression implemented its temperature policy in late January. In a notice posted on the restaurant's door, management explained that the screenings are an effort to maintain "a healthy and safe dining environment" for "guests who come from all corners of the world," the Register reported.

Employees are also screened throughout their shifts, the paper reported. Employees had also started to wear face masks, but stopped because there is a shortage.

(They also aren't effective at protecting healthy people from the coronavirus.)


While the California chain may be of the first known restaurants to take the extra screening step in the US to prevent a further spread of the coronavirus, the outbreak is changing the food industry around the world.

Those who order fast food in China, where COVID-19 is believed to have originated, are now given the names and body temperature readings of the people who cooked and delivered their meal.

Contactless food delivery coronavirus
A Meituan food courier being disinfected.


Restaurants there have also launched "contactless" services, where customers either order by phone, or have their temperatures checked before ordering an in-store touch screen that is regularly disinfected.

Even some US chains have had to adapt to life under the outbreak. Starbucks, for example, has stopped filling reusable cups or offering "for here ware," at its cafes.


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