All nature reserves and conservation areas are opening to the public for exercise from July 15.

The intention is to open all of the nature reserves, conservation areas, and open access areas under the City’s management to the public by Friday, July 17 at the latest. Just in time for the weekend.

“We have been heartened to see the great demand for access to our wonderful natural areas and the City is really pleased to be able to welcome people back to enjoy these special places. We have been calling for the opening of these spaces, including parks, for some time already as they encourage and facilitate social distancing by their very nature,” said Dan Plato, Executive Mayor of Cape Town.

“We know residents have been desperate to be able to walk and exercise in the City’s nature reserves and other natural areas since the lockdown took effect on March 27, 2020. I am also very pleased to welcome them back again, and want to urge visitors to please adhere to the health and safety protocols related to COVID-19 by wearing a mask or cloth to cover your nose and mouth at all times, to not congregate in groups, and to avoid social contact. It is important that all of us take the necessary precautions during this time, and take responsibility for our health and safety,” said Marian Nieuwoudt, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Spatial Planning and Environment.

The public is advised as follows:

– All open access areas are open with immediate effect
– Park Island and Bothasig nature reserves will be open as from tomorrow, 15 July 2020
– All other nature reserves and conservation areas will be open by Friday morning, 17 July 2020
– Reserves will be open as per the normal times and indicated at the entrance
– The areas will be open for exercise only, and no picnicking or braais will be allowed
– All water bodies will be open for exercise and recreational purposes
– Reserve offices will remain closed to public
– Limited ablution facilities and bird hides will be available
– Entrance fees will be charged as per normal, and where applicable
– No entry without a mask or cloth to cover your nose and mouth
– Adhere to notices at the entrance

The City is currently taking all necessary precautions to ensure compliance with the health and safety protocols related to COVID-19.

“As stated above, we need visitors to also do their part by washing their hands before visiting the reserves, and to keep their masks on at all times. No group activities will be allowed and I urge visitors to comply with this rule. By working together as one City, we can limit the spread of COVID-19,” said Alderman Nieuwoudt.

Picture: Pixabay

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