Tourism Authority to monitor restaurants for dining compliance

-indoor dining at 40 per cent of capacity
-one-month closure for breaches

The Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) has been tasked with ensuring compliance with the amended Covid order which now allows restaurants to have indoor dining up to 40 per cent of their capacity.

Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority, Ms. Carla James

The GTA says restaurants which qualify for indoor dining would be monitored and those which breach the regulations would be shut down.

Director, Ms. Carla James, in an interview with DPI on Friday, said eateries must apply to the Authority for permission. They must also submit their Standing Operating Procedures (SOPs) which must align with the COVID-19 measures, and other health and sanitation protocols.

Once the documents are submitted, the GTA would do a desk review and advise the entity of any deficiencies that need to be addressed.  This would be followed by an on-site inspection of the premises to verify that the establishment has everything in place relating to the COVID-19 guidelines, and that they reflect the information provided in their SOPs.

“Once that is done and they meet all the requirements, we will then grant them conditional approval to open at 40 per cent capacity. Patrons must look out for sign that will be placed [on the establishment] once the property is approved,” Ms. James said.

The Director also noted that the GTA would be supporting the businesses by publicising their names so citizens would know where they can dine safely.

Breaches

Ms. James said monitoring is key to ensuring that the systems in place are working effectively and the GTA is taking a firm stance on breaches.

“Businesses who are in breach will be banned from reopening for a month and we know that this something that they will not want because they want to remain open to have some revenue coming out their business because they have not been able to operate for quite a number of months. We hope that they do everything that they can and follow the rules so that we don’t have to ban anyone so to speak from operating.”

The GTA intends to employ various methods of monitoring, including making unannounced visits for inspections.  The Authority would also be conducting a survey where patrons can provide feedback.

Partnerships on monitoring

Since the GTA’s mandate to ensure safe dining is countrywide, it would be liaising with agencies such as the Mayor and City Council, the Department of Health and regional health officers to ensure continuous monitoring.

The inspection of premises for applications that have been submitted will begin tomorrow.

According to the amended measures, tables are to be spaced six feet apart from each other and no more than four persons are to be seated at a table, and they should be at least three feet apart.

The amendment also states that staff at the restaurants shall wear a mask fitted to cover the nose, mouth and chin at all times and shall sanitise dining tables and chairs after use by each customer.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony announced the amendments to the Order on Wednesday.

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