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Restaurants allowed to operate until 10pm, guided tours allowed under COVID-19 Risk Adjusted Level 3

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Cabinet has eased lockdown restrictions around travel which will allow individuals to leave their homes for leisure travel within the province they currently live in.

It has also moved the curfew to an hour later at night to allow restaurants more time to serve dinner to their customers. This means that the curfew will now start at 10pm. However, the sale of alcohol remains banned.

The new regulations were announced by Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, a short while ago.

“Let me emphasise, it is only intra-provincial travel, not inter-provincial travel. Individuals are still not permitted to travel between provinces for leisure purposes.”

The change has implications for accommodation facilities that are permitted to operate under Level 3.

Accommodation establishments are now permitted to operate for leisure intra-provincially subject to some conditions:

-No more than two people per room except for a nuclear family (parents and their children).
-Establishments are already legally obliged to require and keep a copy of proof of identity.
-Short-term home rental/sharing remains closed.

Kubayi-Ngubane says the 9pm curfew was having a crippling effect on the industry.

“We believe that this change will go a long way towards increasing their revenue generation. The sale of alcohol remains prohibited. Individuals are still not permitted to travel to provinces for leisure purposes.”

Tourism Director-General, Victor Tharage says the decision to change the hours of the national curfew follows intense deliberations with the restaurant industry.

“Dinner is normally served at around 8 o’clock. So, by around 9pm people have already eaten and people will then be leaving to go home and so on. That’s why they actually specifically requested for this one hour and that one hour was then granted. So, we don’t foresee that people are going to come and extend that hour for yet another hour or yet two hours more and so on.”

Tour operators

The department says tour operators, will also be allowed to conduct Guided Tours in Open Safari Vehicles subject to directions. These include provisions for both social distancing and maximum ventilation. These changes will come into effect as soon as the new regulations are gazetted.

Relief Fund

The department has spent R200 million to mitigate the effect of coronavirus through the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF). Four thousand businesses in tourism and hospitality have benefited from the fund. 7 284 valid applications were submitted.

Source: SABC News

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