You can gamble (soon) but you can’t take a walk in the park

Picture for illustration purposes only. An exterior view shows the porte-cochere at the Circus Circus Las Vegas on October 16, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Picture: Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

Cinemas, theatres, casinos and restaurants are unbanned. Gyms and fitness centres, night clubs, beaches and public parks remain off-limits.

A Government Gazette published late on Thursday evening by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, unbans a number of leisure activities under the relaxed lockdown Level 3 rules.

However, for each listed activity or establishment, the relevant cabinet minister still has to issue sector-specific health guidelines in consultation with the health minister.

This means while cinemas, theatres, casinos and restaurants are technically unbanned, they cannot trade until further rules are put in place.

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Gyms and fitness centres, night clubs, beaches and public parks remain off-limits.

Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation regarding the move to Advanced Level 3, some restaurants and hairdressers expressed mixed feeling about being allowed to operate again.

Larry Hodes, the owner of Arbour Cafe, The Gourmet Grocer at Voodoo Lily and The Dark Kitchen, told The Citizen that he is cautiously optimistic about the announcement and what it means for business.

“I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, we’re very excited as it means bringing back more staff, earning more revenue and getting back to what we know best. On the other hand, I am not sure how consumers will take to this, i.e. will they frequent the restaurants?”

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Rules relating to operations

Cinemas and theatres:

  • A limit on 50 patrons or less.
  • The sale of tickets through a booking system.
  • Adherence to strict health protocols.
  • Limitation of performers and crew to 15 people.

Casinos:

  • A restriction on the number of persons allowed in the casino to not more than 50% of the available floor space, with patrons observing a distance of least one and a half meters from each other.
  • Adherence to strict health protocols.

Personal care services:

  • Includes hairdressing, beauty treatments, make-up and nails salons and piercing and tattoo parlours.
  • Adherence to strict health protocols.

Restaurants:

  • Subject to the adherence of strict health protocols and social distancing measures as set out by the relevant Cabinet member, after consultation with the health minister.

Sporting activities:

  • Non-contact sports matches, which may only include players, match officials, journalists, medical and television crew.
  • Contact sports for training only.

Other activities:

  • Agricultural auctions.
  • Museums, galleries, libraries and archives.

What’s out

The following activities may not yet take place:

  • Gyms and fitness centres.
  • Sports grounds and swimming pools.
  • Contact sports and training.
  • Fetes and bazaars.
  • Night clubs.
  • Beaches and public parks.

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