To travel or not to travel, that is the burning question most want the answer to. Especially after Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, said on Friday no leisure tourism will be allowed, which is a direct contradiction of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement during his national address on on June 17. Furthermore, there are no regulations stipulating that restaurants can only operate at 50% capacity.
Stakeholders in the tourism industry have been left more confused than ever as they were preparing to reopen when restaurants did on June 29 but had to put the brakes on after Friday’s address.
During the president’s address he said, “accredited and licensed accommodation, with the exception of home sharing accommodation like Airbnb” may resume economic activities.
Following his announcement, the government gazette published on Thursday, June 25 further states that “a person may leave his or her place of residence to travel for leisure purposes as allowed under Alert Level 3”.
On Friday, Kubayi-Ngubane contradicted this when she said no leisure travel will be permitted.
South Africa is Travel Ready (SAITR) – a PR and Communications collaboration of influential agencies in the tourism and hospitality space – said that there is a strong view from the tourism private sector that nowhere in the gazetted regulations does it state that domestic leisure overnight stays will not be allowed, which supports the announcement made by Ramaphosa on June 17.
SAITR further said in a statement that while the regulations do not allow for inter-provincial domestic leisure travel, as indicated by Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, the gazetted regulations do allow travel for leisure (for any activities that is allowed under Level 3), within a province.
Reports have also been circulating that there is a maximum of 50% capacity in accommodation establishments and restaurants allowed, or a maximum of 50 guests, but nowhere does the gazetted regulations state this.