While some people are still hesitant to get out and about in the world, others have long surpassed fear and are well acquainted with life as we have come to know it: mask, sanitise, social distance, repeat. Whether the seemingly never-ending woes of COVID will stir panic measures from governments, or whether the world will treat COVID like the flu is still up in the air.
However, if you’re part of the group of people who’ve gotten back into the groove of life again — you might be pretty fed up with some restrictions. You’re not alone because mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has today asked to scrap capacity restrictions at public venues.
In an official statement by the mayors, he wrote to President Ramaphosa with two requests in light of the claws of capacity restrictions.
One; that the “50% capacity rule” for outdoor public facilities, like public swimming pools, be lifted entirely. Two; that spectators be allowed to return to watch major sporting events (such as the India-South Africa cricket tour).
The mayor’s argument on behalf of the City of Cape Town is that the latest variant “proves to have less of a negative impact than the previous Delta variant” and that “resumption of public, entertainment and sporting events should be a priority for aiding economic recovery.”
Highlighting the need for economic rebuilding, the statement noted that the City of Cape Town has “shown that we can safely manage large events with clear adherence to health safety protocols.” It lists the Cycle Tour, the ABSA Cape Epic, Miss SA, the Cape Town Marathon, and the FNB One Run among others.
In a special note to sporting events Hill-Lewis expressed:
“The SA v India cricket matches currently taking place in Cape Town, as well as rugby and football matches scheduled to take place at the Newlands and DHL stadiums, will benefit from crowds in the stands cheering on their teams. These crowds also support the livelihoods of dozens of small businesses and vendors in and around those events. Lessons learned from these matches will help us prepare to host the Rugby World Cup Sevens South Africa 2022 in September.”
An emphasis was also placed on public venues like public pools — from Sea Point to Newlands.
“In the summer, these pools are extremely popular venues for family outings, and thousands flock here every day. At the moment, people are queuing from as early as 04:00 to get in, but we are forced to stagger the entry times to adhere to the 50% capacity rule. This often results in many people going home instead.
“Mr President, we are ready to reopen our public outdoor facilities to full capacity, and we are ready to allow spectators back to our outdoor sports games. We ask that these restrictions be lifted without delay, and we look forward to your support.”
Picture: DHL Stadium Management