Department of Tourism maintains that leisure tourism, including stays at hotels, remains closed under level 3 lockdown. Picture: Pixabay.
Department of Tourism maintains that leisure tourism, including stays at hotels, remains closed under level 3 lockdown. Picture: Pixabay.

No, you can't book a leisure trip during level 3

By Clinton Moodley Time of article published Jun 29, 2020

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The Department of Tourism confirmed that leisure tourism remains closed under level 3 lockdown following reports claiming otherwise. 

News reports over the weekend announced that leisure travel will be permitted, following a loophole they found in the government gazette that stated that “travel for leisure purposes as allowed under Alert Level 3.” 

Chief Director: Communications for the Department of Tourism Blessing Manale said in the strictest term, leisure tourism remains closed as well as most activities, experiences and attractions.

He said sports, cultural, beach, group hiking, spectator events, religious gatherings or anything which constitutes leisure tourism, and which may trigger provincial travel and demand for overnight accommodation, remain prohibited under level 3 lockdown.

“This clearly demonstrates that indeed leisure tourism remains primarily restricted. Any interpretation of the regulations and directions as announced to mean a free fall opening of leisure tourism, particularly inter-provincial travel and a wholesale accommodation and hospitality services, is misleading to the sector. 

"It remains a voice of those who want to ride and perpetuate the perceived misunderstand as a lobbying mechanism for opening up of the tourism sector beyond what the Minister of Tourism and government has been doing,” he told IOL Travel. 

Manale said various sub sectors and certain activities were opened up under level 3 and more activities under the new level 3 regulations. He said leisure activities, which include daily recreational activities and does not require overnight accommodation, including a visit to the cinema, museums, self-drive in parks, gambling, restaurant sit-in, business conference and meetings, is allowed.  

“Most of these activities under normal circumstances within one province, unless under a full operating tourism sector. 

“Domestic business air travel for permitted activities, accommodation and inter-provincial travel have been gradually opening up as certain aspects of the economy and social activities opened up. This has generally increased travel between provinces and an increase in hotel bed demands,” said Manale. 

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