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Letter: The Government Gazette’s Impact on Restaurants and Takeaways

As I am sure you are aware, on Wednesday 18 March 2020, government introduced new
regulations in terms of the Disaster Management Act that will have an effect on many
businesses, including restaurants. It follows the President having declared a national state
of disaster three days earlier.

These regulations contain strict steps that are to be implemented in order to ‘flatten the
infection curve’ and minimise the effects of COVID-19 on our country. We have
summarised the impact that the regulations will have on restaurants below, and hope it
provides some guidance to you going forward.

Please note, the SA Jewish Board of Deputies (Cape Council) cannot be held liable for any loss
or harm arising from the content hereof and has produced this guideline to assist; It is
suggested that if decisions are made based on this guideline, professional advice in the
relevant field be sought.

The regulations differentiate between restaurants who serve alcohol and those who do
not. All restaurants, like other communal areas, are prohibited with immediate effect from
having more than 100 patrons accumulatively. Restaurants that sell liquor are prohibited
from having more than 50 persons on their premises and must be closed, unless:

[1] The maximum capacity at any given times is not more than 50 persons;

[2] There is not more than one person per square meter of floor space; and

[3] All hygienic conditions to limit patrons’ exposure to COVID-19 are taken, such as
avoiding physical contact and disinfecting all frequently-touched objects and

Restaurants that sell liquor must close at 18:00 on weekdays and Saturdays, and at 13:00
on Sundays and public holidays. These restaurants may only open their doors again at
09:00 the following morning.

Lastly, no special or events liquor licenses will be considered during the national state of

Any restaurant that convenes a gathering of more than 100 persons, or permits more than
50 persons at a premises where liquor is sold and consumed, will be guilty of an offence
and may be liable to pay a fine, for imprisonment of not more than 6 months, or both.
So, what does this mean practically for your restaurant? If you have a liquor license, there
are restrictions on your trading hours and a limit on the number of patrons you can have at
any given time (i.e. not more than 50 persons). If you don’t have a liquor license, it is
business as usual, so long as you have less than 100 patrons at any given time.

All restaurants must comply with these regulations and do their bit to ensure all necessary
hygiene precautions are taken. Although some restaurants will need to close their doors, it
is encouraging to note delivery and take-away options are still allowed, whether you sell
liquor on your premises or not.

We hope this summary helps you, and we are available should you have any questions or

Kind regards

Stuart Diamond
Executive Director

Mathilde Myburgh

As a Communications Specialist, Mathilde brings seven years of experience in print and digital media, research and communication to the team, bridging the gaps between relevant content, community reach and growth, and public relations.

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