Restaurants not allowed to operate during lockdown - Tourism Minister
Johannesburg - Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said the 21-day lockdown in the country would have a negative impact in the sector, but she has urged industry players to abide.
The minister has written to establishments including AirBnB to inform the government if they had bookings from international tourists.
She said those establishments should keep the tourists at the establishment and alert the government about their itinerary and planned movements.
On Monday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa stepped up government’s efforts to combat the rapidly spreading virus when he announced a 21-day lockdown which would come into effect from Thursday night.
This meant South Africans had to stay home to contain the virus, but essential service personnel including the police, the army, doctors and nurses were exempt.
And on Tuesday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said South Africa’s confirmed coronavirus cases stood at 554.
“The enforcement of a nationwide lockdown imposing restrictions on movement for 21 days with effect from midnight on Thursday, 26 March 2020 until midnight on Thursday, 16 April 2020 - means that all South Africans will have to stay at home.
“No one will be allowed to leave their homes except under strictly controlled circumstances, such as to seek medical care, buy food, medicine and other supplies or to collect a social grant.
“No business is allowed to operate, including restaurants among others,” said the minister.
She said this would have an impact on the tourism sector, but all stakeholders had to adhere.
South African citizens and residents arriving from high-risk countries will automatically be placed under quarantine for 14 days.
Foreign nationals arriving on flights from high-risk countries were prohibited a week ago and will be turned back.
International flights to Lanseria Airport will be temporarily suspended.
International travellers who arrived in South Africa after 9 March 2020 from high- risk countries will be confined to their hotels until they have completed a 14-day period of quarantine.
“We urge all tourism stakeholders particularly accommodation owners to cooperate and make sure no one leaves unless they have a ticket booked and are catching the next flight home.
“We appeal to tour operators and tourist guides to act responsibly so that the country can avoid risky situations wherein a person or persons are tested positive but still do tours in the country.
“As per the government instructions, all tourist attractions must be closed so that we not only protect South African citizens but tourists themselves.
“A letter has been issued to all establishments including AirBnB immediately to provide details of tourists who are still accommodated within in their establishments, their activity/ movement and itinerary, and date of arrival in the country,” she said.IOL