Restaurant association slams continued ban on sit-down meals

25 May 2020 - 18:47 By ERNEST MABUZA
Sit-down eateries are ready to open and don't pose a health risk if social distancing is observed, says the Restaurant Collective.
Sit-down eateries are ready to open and don't pose a health risk if social distancing is observed, says the Restaurant Collective.
Image: RODGER BOSCH / AFP

The Restaurant Collective, an association of sit-down restaurants, said on Monday the industry needed to open and was ready to do so.

The association was reacting to President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement on Sunday that restaurants would not be allowed to open to sit-down customers on June 1, despite a relaxation of lockdown levels.

Certain high-risk economic activities would remain prohibited to ensure the country maintained social distancing, he said.

"These include restaurants, bars and taverns, except for delivery or collection of food," said Ramaphosa.

Spokesperson for the Restaurant Collective, Ocean Basket CEO Grace Harding, said the association had developed the sit-down restaurant protocols that have been submitted through the Tourism Business Council of SA.

"A sit-down restaurant that has the right social distancing will be a safe place. There is far more danger of contracting Covid-19 in other situations which are fully open now," she said.

Harding said although sit-down restaurants were seen as a relatively small contributor to the South African economy, this view did not factor in the massive entrepreneurial ecosystem it supports, including small farmers, wholesalers, shopfitters, pest control, plumbers and electricians.


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