Cape Town ready for partial reopening of travel sector in level 3 lockdown
Cape Town Tourism is delighted that some parts of the travel sector will reopen following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s address to the nation on Wednesday, June 17.
Ramaphosa revealed that sit-in restaurants, accredited hotels, cinemas, theatres, casinos, personal care services and non-contact sports including cricket, golf and tennis, will be opened. The return of hotels will not include Airbnb services, he said.
However, Ramaphosa did not release the date when these regulations will come into effect. Cape Town Tourism CEO Enver Duminy said the city looked forward to the partial reopening of the travel sector.
“While we are still seeking further clarity around a number of issues, such as inter-provincial travel, and when attractions are able to open, we are delighted that there will be a return to operation sooner than anticipated,” said Duminy.
Cape Town Tourism recently released the Covid-19 Impact Report, which detailed the impact the lockdown was having on the sector. The report highlighted the devastating effects an extended lockdown could have on these businesses. It showed that 83% of businesses indicated that they would not survive longer than six months under the current lockdown conditions with 56% of businesses not having a recovery plan in place. The report also revealed that around 90 000 jobs in the tourism sector in Cape Town could be lost over the next few months.
“Tourism businesses have clearly been struggling, so this partial opening of the industry, albeit at limited capacity, comes as a relief as many people's jobs and livelihoods are on the line. For Cape Town Tourism specifically, we are thrilled that this partial reopening will mean that many of our member businesses are able to start operating again and this comes at a time when it is most needed.
“With the growth in infections still increasing and expected to peak in September, we cannot forget those who have lost loved ones during this time. We continue to urge everyone to most importantly practise social distancing and adhere to the safety protocols put in place while enjoying being out and about in Cape Town once again,” added Duminy.
Western Cape Minister of Finance and Economic Opportunities, David Maynier, wrote to the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane last week to request that leisure travel be allowed under level 3 lockdown.
He stated in his letter that accommodation establishments should be allowed to accept guests who are travelling for leisure purposes, that intra-provincial movement of people should be permitted for leisure purposes, and that certain visitor attractions, where risk is low, should be allowed to re-open.
“Allowing these sections of the tourism and hospitality sector to open under Alert Level 3 will help to minimise further job losses and will accelerate industry recovery,” he said.