The president said the lockdown was mandatory and had to be implemented to ensure that the spread of the covid-19 virus is reduced and the curve is flattened. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA
The president said the lockdown was mandatory and had to be implemented to ensure that the spread of the covid-19 virus is reduced and the curve is flattened. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA

5 ways President Ramaphosa’s lockdown speech will affect tourism

By Travel reporter Time of article published Mar 24, 2020

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that a countrywide lockdown will come into effect on Thursday, March 26. The 21-day lockdown until April 16 is the government’s latest intervention to try and control the spread of the coronavirus.

The president said the lockdown was mandatory and had to be implemented to ensure that the spread of the covid-19 virus is reduced and the curve is flattened.  

Ramaphosa said: "This is a decisive measure to save millions of South Africans from infection and save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. While this measure will have a considerable impact on people’s livelihoods, on the life of our society and on our economy, the human cost of delaying this action would be far, far greater."

Ramaphosa said the only persons that were exempted from the lockdown were SAPS personnel, the SANDF, healthcare workers, emergency personnel, security services, military medical personnel and soldiers. 

Here are 5 things we learnt from the president’s lockdown speech that pertains to the tourism industry:

  • Individuals won't be allowed to leave their homes except under strictly controlled circumstances, such as to seek medical care, buy food, medicine and other supplies or collect a social grant. So, any plans for travel should be cancelled. 
  • He reiterated that  South African citizens arriving from high-risk countries will automatically be placed under quarantine for 14 days. Non-South Africans arriving on flights from high-risk countries won't be granted entry. 
  • He said international flights to Lanseria Airport will be temporarily suspended.
  • International travellers who arrived in South Africa after March 9, 2020 from high- risk countries will be confined to their hotels until they have completed a 14-day period of quarantine.
  • President Ramaphosa said the Department of Tourism has made an additional R200-million available to assist SMEs in the tourism and hospitality sector who are under particular stress due to the new travel restrictions.

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