Restaurant owners and industry bodies have to wait on government to publish the physical distancing guidelines.
Liam Tomlin, proprietor of the Chefs Warehouse chain of restaurants said, the president’s announcement did little in the way of providing clarity on a path to reopening.
“The announcement was very vague and really doesn’t make it any easier for us in planning or making any decisions on the reopening of our businesses or if it will make financial sense to reopen them until we have solid guidelines as to how we can operate,” Tomlin said.
Founder of the Beerhouse group and the Hospitality Alliance, Randolph Jorberg, said that with the reopening of food outlets, the sale of alcohol specifically was a make-or-break factor for many.
Comments on social media indicated there are a huge number of customers confirming that they will rather eat at home, with a bottle of liquor bought from a bottle store, if they are not allowed to consume liquor in restaurants.
They now have to wait for the regulations to be published by the government.
Meanwhile, major leisure companies are already implementing their own measures.
The Sun International Group, which operates GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World and Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town, published measures that both its restaurant tenants and patrons must adhere to.
“Our new health and safety protocols adhere to travel and tourism industry standard protocols for Covid-19 that were issued by the Tourism Business Council of South Africa, and approved by governments health experts as well as an independent epidemiologist,” said Graham Woods, the group’s chief operating officer for hospitality.
Tomlin said, any guidelines for restaurants would have to be applied on a case-by-case basis with the responsibilty of social distancing also laying with patrons.
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