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Night clubs and drinking bars remain closed – Tourism Minister

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Mrs Barbara Oteng-Gyasi, Minister of Tourism, Creative Arts, and Culture on Thursday said per the Presidential Directives on easing the COVID-19 restrictions, all night clubs and drinking bars across the country remains closed.

The Tourism Minister said the government has provided some guidelines concerning easing restrictions on the operation of the tourism sector for compliance by all operators, however, night cub and drinking spots were exempted.

Mrs Oteng-Gyasi observed the Minister’s press briefing to provide details of the easing of restrictions for the tourism industry in Accra.

She explained that these guidelines were to support the interventions already put in place by the government to reduce the impact on businesses and the tourism and hospitality sector.

It was also in support of the recovery of the hospitality sector which has been badly hit by the pandemic.

She said concerning Food and Beverage establishments, comprising of Restaurants, Chop Bars, Highway Rest Stops, Fast Foods, Coffee/Tea Shops, and Snack Bars, should display of “No Mask No Entry” signage and ensure that all patrons were wearing masks on entry.

Mrs Oteng-Gyasi said they should provide soap and running water and hand sanitizers or disinfectant gels with paper towels in public areas.

She said guests should be reminded when entering and leaving to wash their hands or disinfect their hands with disinfectant gel, preferably located at the entrance to those facilities.

She said they must limit the number of guests for dining to 50 percent of the current-carrying capacity of the restaurant to ensure adequate spacing for seating.

Operators are also to maintain social distancing of at least one metre, regularly disinfect surfaces and where the use of bleach was not suitable – telephone, remote control equipment, door handles, buttons in the elevator, then alcohol-based sanitizers (70% and above) must be used.

“Buffet style of service if necessary must limit communal handling of serving cutlery, and when necessary, change tongs and ladles more frequently, always leaving these items in separate containers. Clean and disinfect the buffet surfaces after each service,” she said.

She said the wearing of a mask and protective wear by kitchen staff must be compulsory and must wash their hands with soap and running water frequently (maximum every 15mins.) and dispose of used paper towels in a bin immediately.

With events such as conferences, awards,  workshops and weddings, the Minister said, the “No Mask No Entry” signage must be displayed at the entrance to ensure that all patrons wear masks on entry, adding that event organizers may supply facemasks as souvenirs at entrances in case any person arrives without a face mask.

She said enough Veronica buckets together with tissues and stand-alone sanitizer dispensers must be positioned strategically at venue entrances in a manner as to prevent queueing and crowding. People in a queue must stand at least a meter apart.

“Strictly washing of hands before entering event venues, ushers upon application of hand sanitizers at entrances shall escort guests to their seats, strict observance of social distancing of not less than 1 metre, and a maximum of 50 percent of carrying capacity or 100 people per event, must be critically adhered to,” she said.

Mrs Oteng-Gyasi, said with regards to activities, to critically observe social-distancing, tables usually designed for ten chairs shall be reduced to 50 percent of the current seating capacity.

Source: GNA

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