City unveils instruction allowing dine-in services

Writer: Wang Jingli  |  Editor: Holly Wang  |  From: Shenzhen Daily 

A staffer distribute soup in serves at a local restaurant in Shenzhen. Nanfang Daily

Most restaurants in Shenzhen can now provide restricted dine-in services, according to an instruction targeting catering companies released by the municipal government for COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control Monday.

According to the instruction, restaurants in districts where the emergency response level of the COVID-19 outbreak has been adjusted to Level III, the second-lowest in the city’s four-level system, are given the green light to offer restricted dine-in services on the condition that they meet certain prevention requirements.

At present, most districts in the city are at Level III as the number of new infections in the city has continued dropping over the past few weeks. The level has been adjusted to Level IV in some districts, where restaurants, accordingly, have resumed normal business operations, according to the instruction.

Under Level III restrictions, restaurants are required to conduct temperature checks on customers before entry, separate entrances and exits if conditions allow, and ensure that the number of occupied tables is less than 50 percent of that of normal business conditions.

Customers with a temperature above 37.3 degrees Celsius are prohibited from eating at restaurants. If found, restaurants should immediately file a report to relevant departments.

Customers should be divided into groups that enter the restaurant in intervals of no less than 10 minutes and should sit separately and keep a face-to-face distance of no less than one meter while eating.

Tables and dining areas should be disinfected after serving each group of customers.

Only one table is allowed to be placed in a private room, and table-pooling is prohibited, based on the instruction.

However, it is worth noting that the emergency response level will be adjusted every week based on the virus situation, the instruction said.

On Monday, 53 restaurants at One Avenue shopping center in Futian District started offering dine-in services.

However, other shopping malls, such as Coastal City in Nanshan District and Uni Walk in Bao’an District, haven’t yet reopened dine-in services, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.

Guangdong Province released an instruction Feb. 20 to regulate the catering business for the epidemic prevention and control period.

According to the instruction, restaurants in counties, districts and cities under Level III are allowed to provide restricted dine-in services.

But before the epidemic prevention and control restrictions are lifted, a food and beverage establishment is prohibited from receiving large-scale dinner gatherings.