Casinos across South Africa have been permitted to reopen their doors as coronavirus lockdown rules are gradually relaxed. Image: Pexels
Casinos across South Africa have been permitted to reopen their doors as coronavirus lockdown rules are gradually relaxed. Image: Pexels

Thank your lucky stars – SA casinos reopen

By Jehran Naidoo Time of article published Jun 29, 2020

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Durban - After more than three months of being out of operation due to the outbreak of the coronavirus in South Africa, casinos across the country have been permitted to reopen their doors on Monday. 

This decision follows an announcement made on Friday by the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, which stated the amendments to the lockdown regulations. 

"The amendments expand the sectors that are permitted under level 3 (of the lockdown). Regulation 33 has been updated to allow movement for the purpose of the provision and producing the services permitted in these regulations," said Zuma.

"Under these amendments, cinemas, restaurants, theatres and casinos may operate subject to the strict adherence to all health protocols and social distancing measures and following the directions to be issued by the responsible minister, after consultation with the minister of health."

Listed in the Government Gazette, which was issued on Thursday, June 25, Zuma also stated that casinos must strictly adhere to all health protocols and physical distancing measures as provided for in directions that must be issued by the responsible Cabinet member.

Although casinos have been mandated to reopen after 94 days in lockdown, they will only be allowed to fill a maximum of 50% of their floor space, while patrons are urged to maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres from each other. 

Casinos will also have to keep a record of each customer, contractor and employee who walks through their doors daily. 

"The amendments are issued in line with the president's message that government is implementing the risk-adjusted strategy model in order to balance the overriding objective of saving lives and protecting livelihoods," added Dlamini Zuma.

While the reopening of businesses is phased in, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said in a statement on Sunday: "We are seeing a rapid rise in the cumulative number of positive Covid-19 cases indicating that, as we had expected, we are approaching a surge during the latter winter months of July and August."

"It is anticipated that while every province will unfortunately witness an increase in their numbers, areas where there is high economic activity will experience an exponential rise, beginning with Gauteng, Western Cape and followed by the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal," added Mkhize. 

African News Agency/ANA

* For the latest on the Covid-19 outbreak, visit IOL's  special #Coronavirus page.

** If you think you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, please call the 24-hour hotline on 0800 029 999 or visit  sacoronavirus.co.za 

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