Night clubs are hoping for fin aid to renovate venues
Botswana’s entertainment sector will know its fate today (Wednesday 29 September) regarding how it will operate without adding to fears of a spike in COVID-19 infections.
In an interview with this publication, the Chairman of Botswana Beverages Association (BOBA), Peter Noke, said the government promised to respond today when they submitted a proposal for a safe re-opening on 1st October last Friday.
This comes after the government announced a return to normal trading hours for businesses beginning 2nd October.
In its proposals, BOBA has asked for 50 percent of capacity at indoor venues. Wearing of masks and protective shields, which will be sold at points of entry at all entertainment venues, should be mandatory. The proposals also include banning drinking of alcohol at parking lots.
“We informed the government that the owners of these venues will take absolute responsibility,” Noke said. “For night clubs, we have asked for tables to be extended to dance floors with 1.5 metres separating them.”
Another proposal is of financial assistance for renovation and/or refurbishment of night clubs and payment of rental arrears. “Night clubs have been struggling for the past 18 months because their businesses have not been operating,” Noke noted.
“We were informed that our recommendations would be submitted to the Ministry of Health and Wellness and the COVID-19 Task Force so that when they respond today, it is comprehensive.
“We have also informed the government that whoever does not follow COVID-19 protocols should have their licences revoked because we cannot continue working with people who put lives at risk and have engaged our members about this.”
The Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Mmusi Kgafela, recently announced that bars and liquor restaurants would open for trading because the infection rate of COVID-19 had dropped.
“From 1st October 2021, these businesses will resume their normal operating hours (but) when the need arises to restrict days and hours of operation, this will be regulated,” Minister Kgafela said.