A further round of clarifications has been issued by the health ministry, which sets out provisions as to how businesses such as bars and cafes can operate – and crucially – how many people they can allow in and under which conditions.
One such is example is that dancing is prohibited “regardless of the type of music on offer” if they are accepting people with a SafePass, but dancing is allowed in businesses accepting only fully vaccinated or recovered patrons.
Businesses such as bars, cafes and hotels can have up to 300 people indoors with a SafePass, as it is prescribed in the latest decree, or 500 fully vaccinated patrons or recently recovered (within the past six months).
For outdoor areas, the number of people on a SafePass basis rises to 350 but remains 500 for fully vaccinated patrons or recently recovered.
It further stated that in all businesses (indoor or outdoors) with more than ten people present – including employees – the following is required: a negative test taken within the past seven days – or proof of recovery – for those aged 6-11, while those age 12-17 are required to test every 72 hours or prove they are fully vaccinated or have recently recovered. Finally, adults must be fully vaccinated, or recently recovered, or PCR test every 72 hours, or rapid test every 48 hours.
From December 15, they will only be permitted entry if they have taken at least the first dose of a vaccine along with a negative test (PCR or rapid).
Workers of the business are exempt from the above stipulation provided that they test negative, while those visiting hotels are also exempt provided that they test negative, while children aged 6-11 must also test negative. Those aged six and below are not subject to these restrictions.
The ministry also stated that businesses which decide to only allow in vaccinated or recovered persons must adequately inform any potential customers of this decisions (either by placing signs, posts online or by telephone when bookings or reservations are made).
Businesses must inform the ministry of this decision by filling out a form and sending it to [email protected] (the form is attached below).
It added that the decision taken by a business (SafePass or vaccinated-recovered) will apply to both their indoor and outdoors areas, meaning there can be no mixing and matching.
It also stated that businesses which operate an indoor and outdoor area can not surpass a total number of 500. The announcement read: for example, a business operating under the SafePass criteria can have patrons both indoors and outdoors with no more than 250 indoors and 350 outdoors, while the total must not surpass 500.
A business must appoint, in writing, a member of staff or hired personnel to carry out the mandated checks.
Service will take place only at tables, while patrons must be always seated and there can be no more than 12 to a table.
All tables must be two metres apart. Bar areas (or service windows) is limited to food and drinks preparation while customers cannot be served at the area. The only exception is for coffee shops which may serve customers from the counter but there can be no more than ten people waiting in queue.
Everyone must wear a mask in businesses while entering, exiting or moving between tables, going to the bathroom and so on.
Nargile is permitted in outdoor areas under the stipulations of the ‘2017 Control of Smoking Law’, as detailed here.
But the pipe cannot be passed around and must be prepared with a separate pipe by the provider and must be thoroughly cleaned between uses.
As for buffets: masks must be worn and distancing kept at one metre while staff must ensure there is no overcrowding and plexiglass should be placed between the food and the customers.