Hospitality businesses may close for weeks in wake of new lockdown rules
Durban - The Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa (Fedhasa) said adjusted Level 3 regulations announced on Monday would have a detrimental impact on many hospitality businesses, as trading might no longer be financially viable.
Rosemary Anderson, Fedhasa chairperson, said: “The adjusted regulations come at a time when many hospitality businesses were hoping to recoup some of the losses incurred during the Covid-19 lockdown. Once schools resume after 15 January, that window of opportunity will be lost,” added Anderson.
She said as a result of the new restrictions, businesses might feel compelled to halt trading during the next 18 days or reduce their workforce as a result of lower demand.
“Fedhasa is disappointed that government has confirmed it is not prepared to reconsider an extension of UIF TERS which would help save livelihoods in the tourism and hospitality sector.”
The association said it would continue to engage with government to highlight how the regulations impacted the tourism and hospitality sector. It said it would lobby for a trading environment that balanced saving lives and livelihoods.
Anderson said the industry was committed to complying with the stringent health and hygiene protocols in place to stem the spread of Covid-19.
“Fedhasa supports government’s efforts to flatten the curve by instituting additional restrictions. We believe that adequate policing of these will be an important measure in the fight against the spread of Covid-19, and urge all South Africans to comply with the strict protocols that we have put in place to ensure their safety while they frequent our establishments.”
Graham Wood, Sun International chief operating officer of hospitality, said: “We respect the new regulations and appreciate the urgent need to curb this second Covid-19 wave. All our hotels and casino properties will adhere to the new curfew and the restriction on the sale of alcohol, but we will need to review the new regulations to understand the broader impact on our current and future business levels.”
Meanwhile, South African National Parks (SANParks) yesterday announced its national parks would remain open.
SANParks acting chief executive Xola Mkefe said in line with the amended regulations, all day and overnight guests would still be welcome “and everyone is encouraged to abide by the regulations when entering any of our national parks.”
He said they were limiting face to face contact between staff and guests by encouraging online and telephonic day visit bookings on 012 428 9111 or www.sanparks.org.
“At this stage, overnight reservations at parks where there is controlled access remain unaffected. Opening and closing times of gates as well as some early morning and evening activities may be affected and guests are requested to seek clarity at the parks or camps where these bookings may have been made.”
Mkefe also said SANParks was currently studying the amended regulations and seeking clarity in some areas. He said information would be shared with the public in due course.