September 15, 2021
October 12, 2023
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Guidance For Safely Reopening Beerhalls, Bars and Nightclubs During COVID-19


The liquor industry in Zimbabwe has suffered massively due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Beerhalls, bars and nightclubs, which generate more than half of their revenue from alcohol, had been closed for a while and had to furlough or lay off employees. The Zimbabwean government has approved the opening and operation of licensed beerhalls, bars, and nightclubs. Only vaccinated patrons will be permitted, and owners will be required to follow all Covid-19 protocols and guidelines. In light of this, Liquor Traders Association of Zimbabwe proposes guidance and considerations for implementing health and safety measures to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19.

What should an Employer do to reduce risk for themselves, their employees, and their customers?

Beerhalls, bars and nightclubs owners and employers should constantly monitor local guidelines for changes or updates in recommendations, disinfection strategies, worker protections, and other COVID-19 best management practices. Employers should also consider forming a knowledgeable team to monitor, assess, and implement new strategies as they become available and knowledge about virus transmission, vaccination, and other aspects evolves. Employers are also encouraged to conduct a task-based risk assessment or job hazard analysis to determine where engineering or administrative controls can be implemented to reduce or eliminate virus transmission by job task.


  • If possible, encourage customers to enjoy their drinks outside in fresh air.
  • Keep heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems operational to maintain thermal comfort and maximize outdoor air based on system design.
  • Strive to maintain the relative humidity at 40-60%

Enhanced Cleaning and Disinfecting Practices

  • Consider developing a standard operating procedure, checklist, or audit system to consistently train employees on enhanced cleaning and disinfecting practices or to track when and how cleaning and disinfecting is conducted, including cleaning and disinfection of spaces previously occupied by someone confirmed to have had COVID-19.

Personal Hygiene

  • Establish a “before and after work” handwashing or sanitizing protocol for all employees.
  • Employees should wash their hands between serving each customer or clearing dishes from each table, or management should establish a dedicated person to clear dishes. Waitstaff can arrange for dish pick up if a customer requests for their dishes to be cleared.
  • Provide handwashing stations or, if not feasible, touch-free automated hand sanitizer dispensers at high-traffic locations (e.g., at the front of the establishment, at exits, near elevators, outside restrooms, and at each table). These should contain hand sanitizer with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol.

Physical Distancing

  • Physical distancing can help limit transmission. Employers should follow all local, state, or federal physical distancing requirements.

Face Coverings

  • Face coverings can help limit transmission. Employers should follow all face covering requirements.


  • Post signage limiting restroom occupancy, to allow for proper physical distancing, and to remind customers and employees to wash their hands before and after using the restroom.
  • Minimize touchpoints when entering and exiting restrooms, if possible.

Waste and Laundering

  • Single-use items and used disinfection materials can be treated as regular waste, following regular safety guidelines.
  • Any reused cloth materials should be washed and dried on the highest temperature setting allowable for the fabric.


  • Provide instruction and training to employees on how to correctly maintain, handle, wear, clean, and dispose of cloth or disposable face coverings.

Other Control Measures

  • Encourage outdoor seating as much as possible.
  • Employees and customers should be encouraged to stay home if they are symptomatic.


  • Communication and training should be easy to understand, in languages preferred to be spoken or read by employees, and include accurate and timely information.
  • Platforms for communicating with employees could include emails, texts, automated phone calls, websites, and signage.
  • Adopt a communication strategy that is customized to your organization and emphasizes transparency.
  • Communicate to employees and customers what is being done to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (e.g., disinfection routines, health policies for staff, and health and safety measures in place).