In a move towards the reopening of cinemas and event centres, the Lagos State Government has listed some modalities, sets of protocols and guidelines that need to be put in place and implemented by hospitality and tourism establishments.
These protocols and guidelines are meant to ensure the health and safety of all guests and staff in all the facilities involved.
The disclosure was made in a statement that was issued by the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf over the weekend.
Akinbile-Yussuf stated, “The rules affect all accommodation establishments such as hotels, motels, apartments, suites, inns, guest houses etc. tourism enterprises like event centres and food establishments like restaurants, eateries, fast food, lounge and bars, and cinemas.’’
The Commissioner revealed that the state government arrived at the set of protocols for the operators in the hospitality and tourism sector after due consultations with relevant stakeholders in the sector and in recognition of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the industry.
Akinbile-Yussuf noted that, apart from the general safety protocols which include the compulsory use of face masks, regular hand washing, use of sanitisers, maintenance of social distancing, temperature check, encouragement of cashless transactions, disinfection of premises and buildings, among others, owners of hospitality establishments are required to offer 50% of their space capacity to guests for now in order to maintain physical distancing, in addition to the separation of dining tables.
She said, “For now, there will be no buffet serving arrangement. All guests (over 18 years old) must be made to sign a COVID-19 form at the reception that has the name, address and phone number of guests for easy contact tracing purpose.”
For owners of food establishments such as restaurants, eateries, fast food, lounges and bar among others, she said restaurants and eateries are mandated to indicate two metres spacing on the floor to guide their customers on physical distancing, adding that fast food outlets and eateries are also to maintain take-away services for now.
The Commissioner disclosed that operators of tourism enterprises such as event centres and entertainment places must hold valid licenses from the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture before holding an event. This is in addition to an Event Safety Clearance from the Lagos State Safety Commission before the holding of such event.
She also stated, “Occupancy at any event, for now, must not exceed 50% maximum capacity of the hall with a maximum duration of three hours for all social events. Event Centres sitting arrangement must also comply with the two metres physical spacing. All tables must be set at least five meters apart in order to maintain a safe distance and free movements.”
She warned that violation of these conditions by event centre owners and party planners would attract a sum of N1 million as penalty.
Going further, she disclosed that owners of cinemas are to follow all guidelines stipulated for the hospitality sector and event centres as it relates to 50% capacity, two metres spacing and the signing of COVID-19 forms by customers above 18 years. She stressed that the operation of all cinemas within the State must adhere to the time stipulated for the curfew in their operations, that is 10 p.m to 4 a.m.