Mbabane: The Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs Honourable Harries Bulunga has suspended Sibebe Resort from hosting any entertainment activity with immediate effect.
In a statement issued on Thursday, the minister said this follows the apparent and deliberate breach of COVID-19 regulations that happened at an entertainment event held at the resort over the past weekend.
The Minister said these reckless actions go against the clear and straightforward protocols that Government and the entertainment industry agreed upon at the reopening of the industry last month:
- Any art/entertainment activity should be hosted in a venue that has applied for and received an Entertainment Activity Hosting Compliance Certificate from the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs, through the Eswatini National Council of Arts and Culture (ENCAC).
- Host Artists and venues should collaborate to ensure that they appoint adequately trained Compliance Officers who will ensure that all participants are screened at entry, that the show duration is strictly two hours or less; that there are multiple sensitization and or hand washing points at the venue; that two metres social distancing is observed between people and that face masks are worn appropriately and at all times during the show.
- Host artists and venue s should ensure that there is strictly no selling of tickets at the venue and instead, only the presale of tickets is undertaken.
- As much as possible, such gatherings should be held outdoors. If this is not an option, then well ventilated indoor venues can be used.
- A maximum of 100 people can attend any given art/entertainment activity.
- In addition, alcohol can only be consumed at home or in hotels and restaurants when food is served. Similarly, alcohol should only be sold on Mondays to Fridays from 9am-5pm.
Bulunga said as such, the ministry, through the Eswatini National Council of Arts and Culture, has already formally notified Sibebe Resort on the revocation of the Entertainment Activity Hosting Compliance Certificate until further notice.
The Minister further reminded artists, event organizers and event hosts of the following guidelines that have to be strictly observed when hosting any entertainment activity.
“The Ministry, working together with law enforcement agencies, will strengthen surveillance at such events to ensure that COVID-19 protocols are strictly observed,” reads the statement by the Minister.
Meanwhile, the resort Communications Officer Larry Mhlanga, speaking to the Times of Eswatini said they take full responsibility of the reckless incidents. Mhlanga went on to apologise to the nation for the non-compliance to COVID-19 regulations as stipulated by the government.
According to Mhlanga, the resort will now only be concentrating on intimate events and accomodations.