Some organisations representing companies in the tourism sector say the easing of some lockdown restriction in the sector will help in regaining confidence of international travellers.
Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane announced that leisure travel is allowed within provinces.
Briefing the media in Pretoria on Thursday, the Minister also said the curfew will start at 10pm to allow restaurants more time to serve dinner to their customers and tour operators will be allowed to conduct guided tours in open safari vehicles.
The Association of Southern African Travel Agents (Asata) has welcomed new changes in tourism related activities under Level 3 lockdown.
Asata’s CEO Otto De Vries said the announcement by Kubayi-Ngubane has been a collective effort by both government and the industry.
“This process has been through consistent engagements by stakeholders in the industry, to show government that every possible step has been taken to mitigate the risk the spread of the virus, by implement ting good health and safety protocols throughout the accommodation establishments, so that beyond just business travel the same policy can be implemented for non-business travel reasons.”
‘Restrictions pave the way for opening up of the borders’
The Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) has also welcomed the announcement.
TBCSA’s CEO Tshifhiwa Tshivhengwa says easing of some of the lockdown restrictions pave the way for the opening up of the borders.
“We believe we have done a great deal of work, the framework we putting together will go a long way in calming the international market and opening up the borders. For us, it shows we are moving to open the international borders although we don’t have a date yet we looking into September. We should be able to move along this direction.”
Kubayi-Ngubane says the decision to move the curfew to start at 10pm will allow for uninterrupted dinner service at restaurants. However, the sale of alcohol remains prohibited.
In the video below, Minister Kubayi-Ngubane announces changes to Level 3 restrictions affecting the tourism industry: