South Africa has been in Level 3 advanced of the lockdown for a few weeks now and the initial fears about eating out are starting to fade

More people are tempted to see long lost friends for lunch and make the most of the newly relaxed lockdown laws.

Although strict rules are governing how restaurants can serve customers, there are some things you can do to make the experience safer. 

Go out with people you already live with

Although there is no law against meeting friends and family you’ve been missing since the beginning of the lockdown in March, doing these increases your risk of exposing yourself to COVID-19.

While the restaurant is responsible for making sure tables are properly spaced, people sitting together at a table, with masks off to eat and drink are at risk of exposing each other to possible infection.

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Don’t choose your own seat

We all have a favourite table at our favourite restaurants, but one of the many things more irritating than the term “new normal” is actually finding a new normal which means possibly letting go of old favourites.

Most restaurants ask patrons to wait to be seated to ensure that customers are spaced out correctly and avoid crowded areas. Allow waiters to seat you as insisting on a specific table could put those around you at unnecessary risk.

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Ask for outdoor seating if possible

The lack of adequate ventilation increases the potential of airborne viruses and bacteria staying in the air for longer. This means indoor seating is higher risk than outdoor seating, especially when masks are removed to enjoy a meal.

Where possible ask to be seated outside.

Related: What causes COVID-19 airborne transmissions indoors?