The tourism ministry has paid out R127-million to tourism businesses that had to close due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Tourism Director-General Nkhumeleni Tharage was briefing the media on Friday on the adjusted regulations for lockdown Level 3.

“To date, we have paid 2540 businesses that amounts to R127-million that has gone to these small businesses. We have not started paying off the tourist guides relief, it was recently announced – we have received all the documentation. The main thing we are verifying for is to ensure that the individuals that benefit out of that are not necessarily double-dipping with the UIF.”

Meanwhile, masks, constant sanitizing, social distance and the keeping of records will be compulsory when restaurants, casinos and conference venues open this Monday.

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane encouraged South Africans to support restaurants and casinos while adhering to the stringent regulations, like wearing a mask, except when eating or drinking.

Tourism Minister’s full statement is below:

Restaurants are still not allowed to sell alcohol for patrons to consume on site.

Kubayi-Ngubane clarified that only permitted accommodation for business purposes is allowed and that leisure travel is still forbidden.

“When we say leisure we talk about holiday. So leisure is not yet allowed. Leisure activities, so I can’t go with my family and my children, go and book into a hotel for a weekend. It’s still not allowed.”

In the video below, the Tourism Minister hosts a media briefing on Lockdown Alert Level 3: