Tin Roof party: Winde wants probe after dozens catch Covid-19, but club says it followed protocols

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Alan Winde.
Alan Winde.
Jaco Marais
  • The Western Cape's Covid-19 contact tracing team is linking a total of 63 cases of Covid-19 to a club in Cape Town's southern suburbs. 
  • Of those, 37 cases are matric pupils at schools in the area, most of them private.
  • However, the owner says he has done nothing wrong and has full Covid-19 protocols in place, and tested his staff.

The number of Covid-19 cases linked to a club converted into a bar in Cape Town's southern suburbs has risen to 63 cases, amid fears of a "super-spreader" event caused by the alleged violation of required safety protocols. 

Premier Alan Winde stated on Tuesday that a pattern of new cases was picked up by doctors who worked in the area. 

"There are some other concerning allegations around this event, and we are now requesting a full investigation into this bar/club in question - including by SAPS and the Western Cape Liquor Authority," he said. 

Winde said this did not mean there was a second wave in the province, but that it was an example of people letting their guard down. 

coronavirus
Popular nightclub Tin Roof in Claremont is at the centre of a Covid-19 outbreak affecting high school pupils.
Aljoscha Kohlstock, News24

"As long as there is even one Covid-19 infection, it will be possible for the virus to spread to other people," he said.

"The virus is still out there, and it remains important that we keep ourselves safe. If we don't do this, it is possible that we will also experience a new wave of infections in the future, as is being witnessed elsewhere in the world."

Earlier, News24 reported that 47 school pupils who visited the Tin Roof Bar in Claremont had tested positive for the virus after a night out there. 

READ | Cape Town teenagers flocked to Tin Roof for night of cheap booze: Now at least 47 have Covid-19

Winde said health teams had contacted all the schools affected and were ensuring that the necessary protocols were being followed. 

In a statement, Tin Roof's James Truter, said they looked after their patrons and parents were happy to send their children there.

Hygiene

He said they followed all hygiene protocols including temperature scanning, writing contact details in a book, and requiring that masks were worn to and from the bar. All staff wore masks, and hands must also be sanitised while buying drinks.

coronavirus
Popular nightclub Tin Roof in Claremont is at the centre of a Covid-19 outbreak affecting high school pupils.
Aljoscha Kohlstock, News24

His own sons work there too, as a sign of how Covid-compliant he considered the venue, Truter said.

Truter said the company had struggled during the lockdown closure for six-and-a-half months, and had adapted its club space into a bar. There was no space for dancing anymore, with pool tables moved to the dance floor. It had shorter trading hours, spacing for queueing, and had halved the number of patrons in the venue from the permitted 190 people.

READ | Ramaphosa calls on citizens to use the Covid-19 app - here's how it works

If the bar was full, people were told, and asked not to congregate outside. 

"Practically all our staff have been tested personally as well over the last two weeks - two more need to be tested - the others are all negative."

Patrons could take their masks off at their tables, and there was sanitiser set out. 

READ | Gauteng Premier 'discharges' Bandile Masuku amid Covid-19 corruption allegations

"As you can see, we are not taking this lightly and are not prepared to risk the well-being of our customers, nor our ability to trade - your article blames us as a venue for spreading the virus and for being negligent - what utter nonsense," said Truter. 

"The kids are going mental at the moment," he told News24. 

"People are tired of the restrictions, they are attending parties and are going to clubs in town - they are coming to Tin Roof (under controlled conditions)."

He felt it unfair that they were being singled out, and said large gatherings at other clubs, including at sports club venues, were not being singled out. 

"Matric kids need to take responsibility at such a serious time in their lives - they need to quarantine themselves and take care. How can a venue be blamed when kids cannot follow protocols and should be looking after themselves?" he asked.

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