Tsogo Sun’s Elangeni and Maharani hotel on the Durban beachfront lit up with a message of love and hope. Picture: Tsogo Sun/Twitter
Tsogo Sun’s Elangeni and Maharani hotel on the Durban beachfront lit up with a message of love and hope. Picture: Tsogo Sun/Twitter

Covid-19 in SA: Tourism council sets out plans for sector to operate

By Staff Reporter Time of article published May 23, 2020

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Pretoria - The Tourism Business Council of SA has proposed guidelines for businesses in the tourism sector ahead of them opening as lockdown eases further.

The protocols for the travel, tourism and related industries align with the World Health Organization, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the Health Department guidelines and advice, and address all the acknowledged risk areas related to travel and tourism.

Among the key points are that persons at higher risk, such as those over the age of 65 or with underlying health issues be advised not to travel, visit hotels, lodges and B&Bs.

While local travel restrictions remain in place, only people visiting accommodation establishments in private vehicles or car hire vehicles may cross provincial borders. They will have to carry a proof of their booking.

All guests/visitors/passengers/clients will be required to complete a medical and travel declaration and operating businesses will obtain and keep guest/visitor/passenger/client details plus recent and planned travel information.

All owners, directors and/or managers of businesses, premises or transport services will need to sign a pledge to adhere to industry protocols, which include having a Covid-19 health and safety officer - either the owner, manager or a dedicated person for the role.

This officer will oversee hygiene and sanitising procedures, temperature checks of guests and staff, and ensure capacity limits of public areas such as lounges and restaurants, a 30% lift capacity, limited use of facilities such as swimming pools, and social distancing plans throughout the facility.

In terms of staff, establishments will facilitate staff living-in on-site as far as possible and reduce where possible their use of pubic transport.

They will receive extensive training and protective gear.

Guests will be expected to wear masks in public areas, with the exception of when they are in their guest bedroom or eating.

Food service will also undergo significant change with lavish self-serve buffets discontinued, and simplified set menus and food served plated to the table.

Gone will be table cloths, cutlery and crockery and other items on tables, while take-away style options with disposable containers, crockery, cups and cutlery should be instituted where possible, including room service.

In addition to increased cleaning and sanitising of rooms, turn-down service would be eliminated, and all excess softs such as cushions and blankets be removed, as well as decor items.

Other rules will apply around housekeeping and laundry services, luggage, goods receiving, gyms and spas, children's play areas, and hotel activities.

Pretoria News

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