Activities such as hunting, self-drive visits to private or public game reserves and national parks, as well as recreational fishing are permitted in Level 3 lockdown.

In a statement released today [June 1], Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries Barbara Creecy announced that the various nature-based activities will be allowed under strict social distancing protocols.

Many will be excited to hear that self-drive excursions in public and private game reserves are permitted. The iSimangaliso Wetland Park has already begun readying themselves for visitors, and will give the public seven days’ notice of its reopening for self-drive excursions.

“SANParks will publish a list of access-controlled parks that will be opened to visitors in the coming days. Visitors to national parks are advised to book and pay online before going on a game drive,” said Minister Creecy.

Creecy advises residents that although these parks and reserves are open, it is wise to wait for an appropriate time to visit.

“While we understand that many nature lovers are keen to get back to our national parks and game reserves, it would be prudent to wait until the relevant authorities are comfortable with their state of preparedness to welcome visitors,” said Minister Creecy.

Minister Creecy also announced that all fishing, including recreational fishing, is permitted with the exception of charter fishing. All recreational fishers will require a valid permit and all regulations relating to social distancing, health protocols, movement and the prohibition of groups and gatherings apply.

Subsistence hunting for food with the necessary permits is also permitted, as well as wildlife auctions. These auctions must take place online, and live auctions of no more than 50 people may occur where online auctions are not possible.

“All the usual protocols with regard to social distancing, hand-sanitising and wearing of masks will apply at all times,” Creecy added.

The import and export of live or dead plant or animal specimens or products will also be allowed, subject to directions issued by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition.

On waste management, 100% of the recycling sector is allowed to operate.

More details on the directions are contained in the Government Gazette that will be published this week.

Picture: Pixabay

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