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COVID19: Dining out will be a whole new experience

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Dining at a Cyprus restaurant will be a whole new experience, as eateries will have to comply with new guidelines issued by the Health Ministry to keep coronavirus in check once they reopen their outdoor areas next week.

Ahead of the second stage of relaxing lockdown measures introduced by the government to stem the spread of coronavirus, the Health Ministry has sent owners of cafes and restaurants a set of guidelines and regulations for customers and staff.

Restaurants and cafes with outdoor facilities, provided coronavirus is contained with daily cases not spiking, will open from May 21.

But customers will get a different experience at their favourite sushi or burger joint.

As customers will have to keep their distances from one another, tables will be further apart, as any restaurant can only seat one person for every 2 square metres.

Large family celebrations will be a thing of the past, at least for some time, as the maximum number of people allowed at one single table will be 10.

Guests will be served by staff wearing gloves and masks.

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

According to the ministry’s guidelines, managers will also have to hand out written instructions to staff about possible COVID-19 symptoms and exclude such individuals from work.

Staff must adhere to basic hygiene guidelines, like not touching their face, frequently washing their hands, and keeping conversations with customers to a minimum.

Staff will also have their temperature taken when they come into work, while customers having their temperature taken is optional.

Just like all establishments, restaurants and cafes should provide hand sanitisers for customers at all entrances.

The Ministry recommends that restaurants provide single-use menus or have them visibly posted or even provided electronically.

Other types of menu should be disinfected after each time a customer holds them. Single-use tablecloths are also recommended.

Bars and restaurants are urged to promote the use of contactless payments.

Establishments will be allowed to use a/c systems, provided there is sufficient ventilation of the area.

Bathrooms must be equipped with liquid soap, single-use hand towels (to be disposed of in trash cans with a foot lever) and antiseptic.