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Govt issues guidelines for opening restaurants, bars from 1 June

Published : 20 May 2020, 01:29

Updated : 20 May 2020, 18:39

  DF Report

A restaurant remains closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. DF Photo

The government on Tuesday issued guidelines for opening restaurants, cafes and bars from 1 June following the restrictive measures imposed to arrest the spread of coronavirus infections.

A proposal has been submitted to parliament for an act on temporarily amending the Communicable Diseases Act in this regard, said an official press release.

The opening will take place in such a way that customers and staff of restaurants, cafes and bars could be protected from COVID-19 and the spread of infections could be prevented.

Food and beverage service businesses would be allowed to be open to customers from 6am to 11pm only and they could serve alcohol between 9am 10pm only.

If customers buy any alcoholic beverage before 10pm, this would need to be consumed by 11pm, which would be the closing time.

With the emergency conditions continuing, the act would lay down provisions for necessary restrictions concerning food and beverage service businesses that would allow them to be open to customers while also preventing any further spread of COVID-19.

To avoid the risk of infection, the number of customer seats in restaurants, cafes and bars would be reduced and attention would be paid to maintaining sufficient physical distance between customers, for example.

It is proposed that restrictions also be imposed on opening and licensing hours. There is also a need for provisions obligating food and beverage service businesses to have an infection reduction plan for their operations and provisions on hygiene requirements on their premises.

They would also have a general obligation to arrange the structures and furniture of their indoor and outdoor facilities as well as their service practices in such a way as to prevent customers’ exposure to the virus. Beverage and food service businesses would not be permitted to place individual customers or groups of customers too close to one another. The decree would not, however, lay down provisions on exact distances in metres.

Under the decree, all customers in food and beverage service businesses would need to have their own seats by a table or counter. Customers could pick up purchases from, for example, a counter.

However, they would not be allowed to serve or dish out their own food or drinks, for example at a buffet table. The decree would also cut the number of customers permitted by half of the normal total.

Due to the emergency conditions caused by the coronavirus epidemic, restaurants, cafes and bars have been closed to customers since 4 April 2020.