QCOSTARICA – The Minister of Industry and Commerce, Victoria Hernández, announced this Monday afternoon that starting this Friday, October 9, the country’s bars and casinos located in hotels will be able to open their doors, after seven months of being closed.
Both bars and casinos will be limited to 50% occupancy.
There will no loud music in bars, allowing people to speak, and not having to shout and shooting saliva at others. And no dancing.
In addition, tables can only have a maximum of four people and along with bars will be required to have acrylic dividers between patrons.
According to Minister Hernández, bars must also have at least one person at the door who is in charge of controlling the capacity, much in the same way it is done in supermarkets.
The Minister added that a meeting is scheduled for this Tuesday with the sector to establish the type of measures that the premises must adopt so that they can begin to operate.
The vehicle restriction will remain the same, with which the bars will have to operate with the same hours that the restaurants currently operate: close at 10 pm on weekdays and 8:00 pm on weekends.
Hernández said that each of the 4,500 licensed bars in the country generate between five and ten jobs each; more than 2,000 jobs will be at the casinos.
In the case of casinos, as mentioned earlier, it reopening appliles only to casinos within hotels, though it is difficult to find a free standing casino in the country, even casinos like the Fiesta and Grand Casino are in fact part a property that includes a hotel.
These are some of the operating requirements for casinos:
- Temperature taken at the time of admission
- Maximum capacity of 50%, according to the endorsement of the Ministry of Health
- Administrators will not activate promotions, tournaments or live shows at the moment
- Use of disposable plates and cutlery
- No alcoholic beverages
- Constant disinfection of tables and gaming machines.
- Disinfection of gambling chips with ultraviolet lamps.
- Distance of at least 1.8 meters between each gaming machine.
- Maximum of 3 people per game tables.
Bars and casinos have been closed since March 16 last, ten days after confirming the first COVID-19 case in Costa Rica, an imported case, an American woman arriving from New York on vacation in the country.
“We have been developing the protocols and we have set criteria that are a little more restrictive on the way a restaurant operates,” Hernández said Monday during the noon presser from Casa Presidencial.