UPDATED 29 June 2020
The Gazetted regulations are due to be released any minute now, but there was further clarification on Friday after our newsletter was sent out.
As we guessed practicing of 1.5m social distancing at all times is required. For cafes with a small floor space this poses a challenge and many cafes and small restaurants will be weighing up the costs it takes to re-open for sit down under the strict guidelines. We assume that people living in the same household will be allowed to share a table. This will obviously be difficult to manage so please be responsible consumers.
With regards to masks. Service providers will be able to refuse entry to patrons who are not wearing masks. Please try to be considerate to others when you have any feelings of inconvenience or have read an article that says masks don't work. The point is to try do everything we can to protect each other and it is seriously not that hard to wear a mask when you're placing an order for your coffee. So just do it.
The consumption of alcohol on site at restaurants or cafes with liquor licenses will not be allowed, but it can be purchased and taken home. This is an intriguing decision but is in place to encourage safe behaviour and we know that after a few toots, our inhibitions are definitely lessened so it does make sense.
For more in depth info from a restaurant side as we wait for the official gazetted instructions, this guide from Eat Out is pretty comprehensive.
Some established and some new stars of the cafe scene have not made it through this gruelling 3 month period of almost no trade and we wish them well on their future journeys and re-imagined coffee businesses.
Urban Espress run by the McLagan's in Port Elizabeth has closed their cafe and will be focusing on their roasting business Cabal Coffee, so be sure to keep supporting them.
Dear Maria, Coffee Magazine Award Best New Cafe Winner in 2018 has sadly shut it's doors for good. What a pity to see this cafe go.
Clay Pigeon Trading has had to close their physical store but they continue to do bespoke coffee experiences.
Coocoocachoo has halted operations. We first met Karel Viviers when he competed in our Home Barista Jam at Coffee & Chocolate Expo in 2013 and we hope that this has not dampened his love of coffee or this industry.
25 June 2020
Well, no one really knows, even 9 days after it was announced by President Ramaphosa. What is clear, is that the hospitality industry is champing a the bit to get things started, in fact depending on where you live in the country you may have seen sit down start to happen regardless of the fact that no directives are yet in place.
The desperation to re-open is of course understandable after the crippling lockdown closure, but we urge people to still remain vigilant in the preventative measures available to us. The COVID wards around the country are starting to fill up and while it is certain COVID will be around for a while and we need to learn to live through it, we still don't have to be reckless or foolish or unkind, when the rules are eventually released.
Many of your favourite coffee shops survive by serving delicious meals to pair with your coffee.
Wendy Alberts, chairperson of RASA, has apparently said they were calling on restaurants to be returned to 70% capacity, with liquor sales seven days a week until 21:00. This seems to us a bit like wishful thinking, but who knows?
According to models in other countries, what are things we can expect?
Well social distancing is the big one. Spaces between tables will be increased to at least 1,5m. In most restaurants and coffee shops, space is at a premium already so this will severely reduce the turnover capabilities.
Everyone could be temperature tested before entering. Although if you are feeling at all unwell, please try practice consideration and keep yourself at home.
The restaurant staff will all wear masks constantly. Please respect this even if you do not *agree* with it. It is for their protection, they will be exposed to many people throughout the course of a shift so they need to take measures to stay safe. Rules about the customer wearing masks may vary, certainly you should wear them on entry until you are at your own table.
It will not immediately be the coffee shop and restaurant experience we loved pre-COVID, but please above all else, remember to be kind as a consumer.