An empty row of slot machines
  • Restaurants and casinos must make guests fill out self-assessment forms, tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said on Friday.
  • They, and conferences, can let customers take off their masks to eat and drink – as long as they do drink not alcoholic beverages.
  • Alcohol sales remain for off-site consumption only, Kubayi-Ngubane said.
  • Some sit-down restaurants have warned that their trading margins are hugely dependent on selling booze, and that if they can't do that, they may not be able to open, or survive.
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Before they allow customers to enter for sit-down meals or to gamble, restaurants and casinos will have to make them fill out self-assessment forms, tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane announced on Friday, discussing regulations required to be adhered to before such establishments may open.

The regulations themselves have not yet been published.

As of Monday, those who pass that screening, and don't appear to have elevated body temperatures, may then be served. They can even remove their masks long enough to eat and drink – as long as they aren't drinking alcoholic beverages.

"In terms of alcohol, currently you would note that the regulations have not changed... Alcohol continues to be you collect and you consume off site, with this that continues," said Kubayi-Ngubane.

Buffets will be banned, Kubayi-Ngubane said. At conferences, attendees will not be allowed to share bowls of mints or decanters of water, and they must stick to assigned seats.

Restaurants are also being advised – but not forced – to use a reservation system to prevent crowding.

Other rules Kubayi-Ngubane described were largely the now stock-standard provisions for sanitisation and social distancing.

She flatly refused to comment on why friends and family will be allowed to meet at a restaurant, but not visit one another at home as rules currently stand.

"Why people can’t go where are not tourism activities," she said.

Late on Thursday night co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma gazetted a set of amendments to the primary rules that govern lockdown allowing for the opening of everything from libraries to casinos, as long as they follow sector-specific rules.

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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