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Here Are the Updated Lock-down Rules for Hotels, Airbnbs, and Restaurants in South Africa

Tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has outlined the new travel and accommodation rules for South Africa under the new level 2 lockdown.

Kubayi-Ngubane said that the lockdown has decimated the tourism industry with a number of companies closing permanently or introducing mass retrenchments.

The minister said that her department has developed further regulations alongside the move to a level 2 lockdown to provide further clarity in a number of areas. She further outlined the new changes below.


Accommodation

Kubayi-Ngubane said that the regulations announced around the country’s level 3 lockdown will largely remain in place.

The exception are the eased rules around inter-provincial travel for leisure purposes, with all accommodation facilities allowed to accept visitors from outside of their province.

In addition, breakfast and reception areas at accommodation venues must ensure less than a 50% occupancy of floor space.

The level 3 lockdown rules published at the end of June provide that accommodation facilities will be allowed to open for leisure purposes.

However, no more than two people may share a room, with the exceptions of a ‘nuclear family’. The directive states that this includes family members or caregivers living in the same household.

Kubayi-Ngubane confirmed that attractions and theme parks will also be allowed to open under level 2, provided health and safety guidelines are followed.

In terms of Airbnbs, the minister said that all accommodation is open, and it is up to the host of a home-sharing venue to ensure that they are compliant with the sanitation and social distancing regulations.


Restaurants

Kubayi-Ngubane also confirmed that the level 3 requirements will remain in place for the country’s restaurants.

The obvious exception is the reintroduction of alcohol sales for on-site consumption during curfew hours (until 22h00).

Kubayi-Ngubane said that this curfew restriction extends to all establishments – including hotel bars – and that no alcohol may be sold to anyone after 22h00.

The minister also clarified misconceptions around limits on the number of people allowed in restaurants. She said that there is no directive on specific numbers – the emphasis is on space and capacity.

This means that space between tables needs to be in line with social distancing rules, and the number of people allowed in should be relative to a restaurant’s capacity with these limitations in place, she said.

Different restaurants have different capacities and carry different space, so a single number wouldn’t make sense. The limit of 50 people applies only to gatherings, such as weddings and conferences and events, etc.

The level 3 lockdown rules published at the end of June provide the rules that restaurants will have to adhere to as follows:

  • Restaurants, fast food outlets and coffee shops must keep a daily record of the full names, ID number or passport number, nationality, nature of position (i.e. temporary, casual or permanent), residential address, and cell phone numbers of all employees and delivery persons;
  • Ensure that every employee and delivery person is screened on arrival for shifts and on departing after shifts;
  • Provide employees with masks to wear and hand sanitiser;
  • Ensure that an area is demarcated for the collection of orders for delivery that is separate from the place where food is prepared;
  • Ensure that a contactless pickup zone for customers whose orders are ready to be collected is designated;
  • Sit-down restaurants must conduct a screening questionnaire and take precautionary measures to protect the person and other persons on the premises. Such measures may include denying such a person access to the premises;
  • Ensure that customers or guests wear masks at all times while they are on their premises except when eating or drinking;
  • Ensure that customers or guests queue at least one and a half meters apart behind each other or sideways;
  • Remove excess chairs /stools and tables or tables combined to enlarge the floor space while reducing and spreading seat capacity to enforce distancing of one and a half meters between guests or customers;
  • Consider a reservation system to manage demand, and help ensure that capacity limits are adhered to;
  • No buffets may be offered to guests for self -service;
  • Food may only be plated and/or provided in covered single portions;
  • Guests may pickup pre-portioned items and any other buffet service should be handled by food service employees only from behind Perspex or similar protective shields;
  • Menus must be replaced with non -touch options or sanitised after each guest use;
  • Where possible and for instance while taking orders, waiting staff must stand at least a meter from tables;
  • Where possible, tablecloths should be removed from tables. Only essential items such as salt and pepper, should remain on tables and be sanitised after each guest;
  • Remove excess chairs /stools and tables or tables combined to enlarge the floor space while reducing and spreading seat capacity to enforce distancing of one and a half meters between guests or customers;
  • Items on waiting stations must be minimised;
  • Clearing and cleaning systems with designated containers for different items and sealable refuse containers for food waste must be implemented and used.

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Plan to Open Up Tourism in South Africa – Including International Flights – But No Dates Yet

The Department of Tourism presented its revised budget in parliament on 9 July, highlighting how the coronavirus pandemic and the national lockdown have caused massive damage to the industry.

Addressing parliament’s tourism portfolio committee, Tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, said that while easing lockdown regulations in the sector was aimed at assisting businesses, it had to be done under strict conditions, and while reinforcing government’s health objectives towards defeating Covid-19.

The minister added that her department’s focus will be on supporting domestic tourism as the first point of recovery.

However, she caution cautioned that the recovery of the entire tourism industry would largely depend on how travel-ready authorities are in terms of managing and controlling coronavirus locally and globally.

The below graphic, taken from the department’s presentation, shows how tourism and the aviation sector is likely to open up in South Africa.

The department did not provide information on when these phases are likely to be introduced – noting again that they were heavily dependent on aviation regulations. However, it made it clear that it will focus on ‘domestic tourism first’.

“Tourism recovery will experience a number of phases, from hyper-local community attractions, through broader domestic tourism, regional land and air markets, and lastly resumption of world-wide international travel.

“The phases may not necessarily follow the same sequence but of certain is domestic tourism first.”

Tourism director-general, Victor Tharage, confirmed that the department lost close to R1 billion in its readjusted budget as announced by finance minister Tito Mboweni.

However, Tharage said that although there were difficult times ahead for the industry and those dependent on it, his department would still be able to meet all its amended targets in line with its adjusted budget.

Travel

At the end of June, Transport minister Fikile Mbalula announced that a number of air travel restrictions will be eased as part of the country’s move to ‘advanced’ level 3.

Mbalula said that this will include the reopening of a number of domestic air routes, as well as general relaxations around the industry.

The airports include:

  • Bram Fischer International Airport (Bloemfontein);
  • Kruger Mpumalanga International Airport;
  • Pietermaritzburg Airport;
  • Port Elizabeth International Airport;
  • Richard’s Bay Airport;
  • Skukuza International Airport.

OR Tambo International, Cape Town International, King Shaka International airport, and Lanseria have been open since the start of the June.

South Africans are currently only allowed to fly domestically for business purposes, with international travel only allowed for repatriation and medical evacuations.

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].