TIME SQUARE is one of the casinos across the country that is reopening for the first time in three months in line with the revised level 3 regulations. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
TIME SQUARE is one of the casinos across the country that is reopening for the first time in three months in line with the revised level 3 regulations. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Time Square casino back in its slot

By Liam Ngobeni Time of article published Jun 30, 2020

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Pretoria - Measures to ensure safety of patrons were in place at restaurants at Menlyn Maine and the rest of the industry when they reopened yesterday.

Time Square general manager Ruben Gooranah said that while they had been closed for over three months, they had been preparing the hotel and casino to host guests in a safe, hygienic and welcoming environment.

“Our staff and guests can feel comforted knowing that we have implemented world class health and safety protocols that go beyond what is required. We cannot wait to welcome guests at Time Square again.”

Gooranah said Time Square has always adhered to the strictest principles of hygiene and cleanliness at all of its facilities.

“In addition to ongoing cleaning schedules, additional and enhanced cleaning and sanitisation practices were introduced.”

Other measures include strict access control in keeping with head count limitations; temperature screening of guests at entrances; and Perspex partitions between slot machines and at gaming tables.

Perspex shields have been installed at check-in counters and reception desks, and flowers and magazines in hotel rooms have been removed to reduce touch surface areas.

Guests are also required to answer a medical screening questionnaire on arrival at The Maslow Hotel and before visiting the casino. It will also be mandatory for all visitors to wear cloth masks at all times.

Gooranah said several changes have been made at restaurants such as providing cutlery in a closed paper sleeve.

The hotel’s buffet restaurant, Tatso, will operate an a la carte menu for now.

While the restrictions on group gatherings remain, the Sun Arena will be closed and scheduled events have been cancelled or postponed.

“These are extraordinary times, and we have taken extraordinary measures to help our guests feel safe when they visit Time Square," Gooranah said.

“Certainly, it will all take some getting used to but we trust that once our guests are familiar with the new way, their visits to Time Square will be as pleasurable as they always were."

The reopening followed an announcement on Friday by Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs 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 of the services permitted in these regulations,” said Dlamini Zuma.

“Under these amendments, cinemas, restaurants, theatres and casinos may operate subject to 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.”

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.

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

Pretoria News

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