QCOSTARICA – Bars and casinos in hotels can now reopen their doors after seven long months of closure, operating under certain conditions that aim to reduce the risk of contagion of COVID-19.
The reopening, authorized by the Ministry of Health, will also mean back to work for some 25,000 people, according to calculations by the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC).
According to the main Health guidelines, each establishment must operate at half its original capacity. That means that pre-pandemic crowds will be, for now, images of the past.
Each site must be properly demarcated to comply with the minimum distance of 1.8 meters between tables and customers, which may not exceed the number of four per table.
According to Health authorities and the Ministry of Economy, only instrumental music will be allowed at a low volume, or the presence of a DJ, in order to avoid that, due to the noise, patrons don’t have to speak or shout over the music to be heard, that increases the chances of releasing contaminated saliva particles into the environment.
This means also that singing and dancing is not permitted.
In the case of casinos, only those withing hotels are authorized to operate and without the sale of liquor, no live shows or promotions.
Gaming machines and tables must be disinfected periodically and social distancing will be required to be maintained.
The following are part of the measures that will govern the opening of bars and casinos.
- Each space that is enabled in the bars must be separated by at least one meter from each other.
- There must be a physical barrier between each space on the bar. This separation can be made of methacrylate, plastic, glass or any other type of non-porous material that guarantees social distancing and disinfection of the area.
- Only a maximum of four people per table will be allowed in the establishments. Tables must have structural divisions to maintain social distancing.
- Part of the agreements to reopen includes the training of the personnel of these establishments on the handling of the sanitary protocols.
- The rules for the right to enter and stay must be in a visible place.
- If you, as a customer, detect any breach that puts people’s safety at risk, report it to 911.
- Hours of operation are the same as restaurants, aligned with the vehicular restrictions: closing time 10 pm weekdays and 8 pm on weekends.
- The disinfection of the machines will be strict both at the beginning of operations, as at closing, and each time a customer uses them.
- Chips at the gaming tables will be disinfected with ultraviolet lamps at the time of opening the tables, at the moment of closing, and during each hour, while the games are active.
- Gaming tables will be a maximum of three chairs for players and, between them, there will be acrylic screens in order to guarantee physical distance.
- Gaming machines must be redistributed to guarantee a minimum distance of 1.8 meters. When this cannot be done, a polycarbonate screen should be placed to separate them. All gaming machines must be cleaned at least every 60 minutes.
- The temperature will be taken when entering, and disposable glasses, plates, and cutlery must be used.
Establishments still NOT enabled
Establishments NOT authorized throughout the country, includes cantons in orange and yellow alert.
All mass concentration activities that have or require a sanitary authorization for their execution:
- Public shows
- Sports activities with spectators
- Popular celebrations
- Entertainment activities in shopping centers
- International Film Festival
- Organization of conventions and trade exhibitions
- National Festival of the Arts.
All public meeting places, which have their respective sanitary operating permit:
- Teatro Popular Mélico Salazar (except for virtual broadcasts)
- National Theater (except for virtual broadcasts and guided tours with groups of no more than 10 people)
- Games for children (“plays”), skate parks, jumping parks, inflatables and the like
- Amusement parks
- Parque Viva (except motor racing without spectators and auto event)
- Religious activities and processions
More information is at Presidencia.go.cr/alertas