Here are the new lockdown rules for sit-down restaurants in South Africa

 ·26 Jun 2020

Tourism minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, has outlined the rules that restaurants and other parts of the tourism sector will need to follow as part of the country’s move to an ‘advanced level 3’ lockdown.

In a press briefing on Friday evening (26 June), Kubayi-Ngubane said that government has developed clear rules for both delivery and sit-down restaurants.

These are outlined in more detail below. It should be noted that a full directive – containing all of the required rules – will be gazetted on Monday (29 June).

The new rules will also apply from Monday, meaning that restaurants will officially be able to open their doors then.

Delivery and general rules

All restaurants, fast food outlets and coffee shops must comply with the following directions:

  • Records are to be kept daily for all employees, delivery agents and patrons;
  • Each employee and delivery person must be screened on arrival and departure for shifts;
  • Workplace delivery containers must be regularly sanitised;
  • All employees should be provided with masks and hand sanitiser;
  • Employees and delivery drivers should sanitise before and after all card payments;
  • Employees and delivery drivers should maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres at all times;
  • Only one employee should occupy scullery areas and use handwash basins at a time;
  • Employees should stay in their clearly defined spaces as far as possible. this includes using clear pathways and avoiding contact with each other where possible;
  • Delivery order pick-up areas should be clearly demarcated and separate from where the food is being prepared.

Sit-down restaurants

  • Restaurants are required to conduct a screening questionnaire on guests. Restaurants may refuse admission if they deem a guest is a safety risk;
  • No person may enter the premises without a cloth mask or any homemade item that covers the nose and mouth;
  • Masks must be worn at all times except where eating and drinking;
  • All guests must sanitise before entering the premises;
  • There must be distance of at least 1.5 metres between the customer and the point-of-sale serving counter. The same distance will also apply to queuing customers and between queues at different till points;
  • Customers should also be seated 1.5 metres apart;
  • Restaurants should consider a reservation system where possible to manage demand and ensure capacity limits.

Food services 

  • No self-service buffets are allowed;
  • Menus must be replaced with non-touch options or sanitised after each use;
  • Tables must be sanitised before and after each guest;
  • Where possible and while taking orders, waiting staff should stand at least a metre from the table

Editors note

At the time of writing, the existing regulations indicated that all ‘gatherings’ should be limited to 50 people.

However, the official directive (published 29 June) does not prescribe limitations on the number of the people allowed into a restaurant – provided health and safety guidelines are followed.

Read: Cigarette sales stay banned: High Court ruling

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