Cape restaurants eager to open for sit-down guests
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Cape Town - It's back to work for restaurant owners today as food outlets reopen their doors to the public after being closed for three months.
Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said: “We are continuing with our efforts to reactivate the tourism sector so that we can save businesses and jobs. We have worked with the sector and developed guidelines as the sector reopened.”
Kubayi-Ngubane said restaurants, fast food outlets and coffee shops must comply with the directions issued by the minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
These directions include: keeping a daily record of all employees, delivery agents and patrons; screening each employee and delivery person on arrival for shifts and on departing after shifts; regularly sanitising the workplace, delivery transport, containers, and follow strict cleaning procedures; providing employees with masks to wear and hand sanitiser; ensuring that every employee wears the relevant personal protective equipment, and that delivery people sanitise before and after handling card or cash payments.
Buffets are not allowed, and menus must be replaced with non-touch options or sanitised after each use. The sale of alcoholic beverages at restaurants is not allowed. Patrons are also required to wear cloth masks before entering the restaurants and they will also be screened upon entering the premises.
On the issue of alcohol Kubayi-Ngubane said: “In terms of alcohol, currently the regulations have not changed Alcohol continues to be consumed off-site. It’s still a takeaway. There is no alcohol consumption on site. If there are changes it will be communicated.”
One restaurant in Cape Town, Maaya’s Lounge, couldn’t wait to open its doors. The City’s metro police responded to a complaint of the restaurant not adhering to lockdown regulations.
Law enforcement spokesperson Wayne Dyson said: “The law enforcement officers received a complaint of a restaurant in Loop Street operating in contravention of the Disaster Management Act Lockdown level 3 regulations.
“They responded and called the police and a decision was made by the police to close the restaurant.”
Management of Maaya’s said: “We were open for a private function for about 30 people. We kept social distance, it was open for invite only. They informed us about the noise complaint.”
Restaurant Association of SA chief executive Wendy Alberts said: “We are excited; restaurants must support the guidelines, they are manageable and we are having conversation with regards to on-site consumption of alcohol.”