The South African government has ordered reopening of casinos, cinemas, and restaurants from Monday in a further easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions reported Reuters.
The government had imposed strict lockdown restrictions in March but began easing restrictions in June allowing people to go outside for work, worship, and exercise or shopping. Mines and factories have also been allowed to run at full capacity in a bid to revive the economy.
South Africa has so far recorded 118,375 coronavirus cases and 2,292 deaths. Daily case numbers rose by more than 6,500 on Thursday after less than 1,000 in April.
In a televised briefing, the South African Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane outlined the rules and regulations around the reopening of restaurants, coffee shops and other eateries. She said casinos would be allowed to operate at 50% capacity, while cinemas and theatres would only be allowed 50 people or less.
Restaurants, fast food outlets, and coffee shops could offer sit-in services in addition to the take-away they had already been allowed but would not be able to serve alcohol.
“In terms of alcohol, currently the [lockdown] regulations have not changed. Alcohol continues to be consumed off-site. It’s still takeaway,” Kubayi-Ngubane said, adding, “There is no alcohol consumption on site.”
Screening questionnaires for all diners will be compulsory and proper records of all guests who visited a restaurant will have to be maintained. Menus and tables will have to be sanitized and there must be adequate spacing.
Notably, it will be mandatory for all diners to wear masks that cover the mouth and nose, unless they are eating or drinking.
The South African minister said that buffets will not be allowed as that could result in an increase in the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. She said that restaurants reserve the right to deny guests access if they fail to comply with screening and sanitation regulations.