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Casinos and cinemas implement Covid-19 safety measures

Overcrowded casino floors are the thing of the past as establishments enforce social distancing to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Overcrowded casino floors are the thing of the past as establishments enforce social distancing to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Image: File

Gambling establishments and cinemas have employed social distancing rules, banned the sale of alcohol on casino floors and imposed restrictions on the number of people gambling and watching the latest movie releases amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

On Friday, Sun International announced that apart from its strict hygiene measures at hotels, casinos and other facilities, it would be removing seats from every second slot machine to ensure better social distancing.

“Our tables will be limited to a maximum of four players per table, with extra seats being removed, while upcoming casino draws, promotions and tournaments have been cancelled until further notice,” said a Sun International statement.

“In line with new liquor regulations gazetted on March 18, we will stop selling or offering alcohol at any of our casinos, bars and restaurants with immediate effect.”

Sun International had also reduced seating capacity at its dining areas to maintain “sensible distance between tables, and to limit the number of diners in each area to a maximum of 100.”

Suncoast, a popular gambling, hotel and entertainment establishment in Durban, said in a statement it had also implemented measures to “limit the number of guests on its casino floors to 100.”

The establishment has also suspended the sale of alcohol on all casino floors.

Gaming promotion draws have been postponed or adjusted in accordance with the government guidelines.

Suncoast has also postponed several events and temporarily closed The Globe venue and  the Barnyard Theatre.

Ster-Kinekor, Suncoast Cinecentre and Nu Metro have also made changes by adjusting show times, limiting the number of moviegoers and employing social distancing in terms of seating.

“The number of shows per day has been reduced and staggered show times have been implemented to minimise the number of patrons in the foyer. Only 100 moviegoers will be allowed into each movie theatre,” said Suncoast.

Nu Metro said in a notice on its website: “We are encouraging social distancing by introducing at least a one metre spacing between booked seats.

“This has been effected using an automated system, whereby customers are automatically separated by two 'buffer' seats on either side of their selection. These buffer seats are not displayed on our booking systems, and are thus unavailable for other guests to purchase.

“In this way, our cinema capacity is capped at below 100 visitors each, in compliance with the recommended specifications from the South African government.”

Ster-Kinekor said it was encouraging social distancing at its cinemas and capping numbers to a maximum of 100. Shows will be screened from midday to 6pm.