Gov’t announces reopening of sports bars, amusement parks

Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie yesterday announced the reopening of sports bars as well as amusement parks and water attractions within strict guidelines.

He said the facilities are being allowed to reopen between July 21 and July 31, during which the measures will be assessed.

The general protocols for the reopening include social distancing, mask-wearing and sanitizing rules.

The facilities being allowed to resume service do not include night clubs.

Here are the protocols, which McKenzie announced in relation to SPORTS BARS:

  • Sports bars must have a valid amusement license from the Local Authorities, and certification of safety from the Jamaica Fire Brigade in order to be reopened.
  • No entertainment events are allowed, and no more than 60 percent of the venue must be occupied at any time.
  • There must be at least 6 feet of space between dining tables, and a maximum four persons are allowed to sit at a table. The tables must not be joined to facilitate large groups.
  • Poker boxes and other gaming instruments must be placed at least six feet apart.
  • There must be limited use of air conditioning and, where possible, bar doors and windows must remain open.
  • Signs must be prominently displayed throughout the venue.
  • No event can be held without a permit. Applications to the Municipal Corporations for permits must have the correct address, approximate size, a recent dated picture of the proposed venue, and proposed layout of the event.
  • All approved events must end one hour before the start of the nightly curfew.

Turning to amusement parks and water attractions, McKenzie stated that they will be allowed to operate between 10AM and 6PM.

He noted: “These facilities include gaming arcades for children and young adults, and are not to be confused with gaming lounges where various forms of gambling are permitted. No gambling is allowed in any gaming arcade.”

McKenzie told the House of Representatives that the protocols for amusement parks include:

  • Railings, barriers, safety harnesses, life jackets and play equipment must be sanitized frequently. Rides and play equipment must be sanitized after each user, or after users from different families or groups.
  • Physical barriers and visual signs must be erected to ensure distancing between people from different families or groups, both in and out of the water.
  • Only venues with a valid Amusement Licence will be permitted to re-open.
  • Attractions must not provide items such as towels, goggles and snorkels. However, patrons are allowed to bring their own. These items must not be shared between people from different families or groups.
  • Attractions that provide rides must ensure that there is at least one seat space between members from different families or groups.
  • Masks must be worn by all persons on all rides. Rides that do not allow for seat spacing, or for riders to wear masks must remain closed.

Sports bars and amusement parks have been closed since March as part of Government’s effort to slow the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).


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