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Rules for operation of restaurants, other catering establishments

Going out for dinner will be a different experience under new guidelines issued by the Health Ministry to keep coronavirus in check.

Forget about big groups at the table — there is a maximum of 10 and be prepared for waiters in masks and gloves. There is also a maximum of how many guests can be at the premises, depending on the size of the venue.

Catering establishments can open outdoors from May 21, under phase two of the gradual relaxation of the restrictive measures, provided the epidemiological situation permits.

The opening of indoor premises is part of stage 3, which starts on June 9.

As with other businesses, the Health Ministry has issued written instructions on how they will operate.

  1. Managers must give written instructions to staff as regards notifying possible COVID-19 symptoms and excluding such individuals from work.
  2. It is mandatory to take the temperature of staff. Optional for clients.
  3. There must be signs at the entrance informing clients on simple protective measures (2 metres distance), personal hygiene hand washing, avoid sneezing and coughing)
  4. There must be signs at the entrance with the maximum number of people allowed at any given time. Responsibility for compliance rests with the manager. The maximum must be calculated based on the area of open space, one person per two square metres excluding employees. The maximum space indoors is one person per three square metres
  5.  Maximum number of people per table is 10
  6. Availability of hand sanitiser at entrance and exit
  7. Staff who serve the public should restrict conversation with clients as much as possible
  8. All staff must wear gloves and masks
  9. It is recommended to use single use menus or those affixed on the wall or available on line. The menu must be disinfected after every use (eg plastic cover, waterproof)
  10. It is recommended to avoid using tablecloths that are used more than once
  11. After the departure of clients, tables must be cleaned and disinfected
  12. Reduce to the biggest extent possible use of cash and promote contactless transactions.
  13. Use of a/c permitted provided fresh air is introduced either mechanically or with regular ventilation
  14.  Children’s play areas (indoors or outdoors) in catering establishments is not permitted until a decree is issued to that effect
  15.  Operation of bars which are part of the service of a catering establishment (indoors or outdoors) is not permitted until a decree is issued to that effect
  16. Bathrooms must be equipped with liquid soap, single use hand towels (to be disposed of in trash cans with a foot lever) and antiseptic

Cleaning and disinfection instructions for personnel

— frequent and careful cleaning of objects of common use

— special care for adequate and frequent ventilation of areas when staff work (kitchen)

–  all surfaces, floors, benches, cash registers, toilets, must be kept clean and disinfected frequently during the day

— in addition, regular cleaning of surfaces used frequently (eg handles, stair rails, switches, lifts, taps etc)

– special care in cleaning objects and surfaces a person with symptoms has touched

— plastic bags in dustbins must be tightly tied and removed immediately. Gloves, after use, must be thrown in the plastic bags and not cleaned and reused

Personal hygiene rules for employees

— avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with hands

— avoid talking, coughing, inhaling and exhaling deeply while handling food

— if coughing or sneezing cover nose and mouth with sleeve or paper tissue which mus be immediately disposed of

— wash hands regularly

–  people with symptoms should not come to work

— staff must wear a mask and adhere to the rules. The mask must be suitable (surgical), fit properly to cover mouth and nose and be changed frequently

— staff must wear gloves and adhere to rules. They must wash hands before putting on the gloves and wear the right size. Change gloves as if washing hands if you were not wearing them, at least once every four hours. Gloves must be removed if going to bathroom, eating or handling rubbish. Do not touch your face when wearing gloves. Gloves used for monetary transactions must be replaced. Replace torn or destroyed gloves immediately. Do not re-use gloves. Throw away the ones you had used and wash hands again.

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