Cape Town has reopened for domestic travel following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement that the country will ease to Level 2 lockdown restrictions.
Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato was among the first to welcome the announcement, but cautioned that visitors and locals should continue wearing masks and maintain a safe physical distance.
“We should all continue to practice the safety measures that we have all become accustomed to over recent months,” said Plato.
“The opening of provincial borders to allow inter-province travel will hopefully see local tourism find innovative ways to attract South Africans to come and spend time in our beautiful city with its long sandy beaches, easily accessible hiking trails, welcoming wine lands and world-class shopping experiences.”
Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, also hailed the announcement. “As a province, we welcome the announcements, which will impact the tourism, hospitality and agri-processing industries, which are significant job creators in the Western Cape.”
Indications are that SA has reached the peak
President Ramaphosa’s announcement to move the entire country to alert level 2 came as the country marked five months since it declared a national state of disaster to combat the Coronavirus pandemic.
“As we look back at the past five months, all indications are that South Africa has reached the peak and moved beyond the inflection point of the curve,” Ramaphosa said.
Alderman James Vos, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities, said Cape Town was ready to welcome back visitors.
“The Tourism Bounce Back strategy [which] the City has developed together with the City of Cape Town’s official Destination Marketing Organisation, Cape Town Tourism, can ensure that we breathe life back into the tourism industry and plot a sustainable and inclusive future for this vital and vibrant sector. I look forward to implementing this strategy and working even harder to ensure that Cape Town bounces back.”
Safety protocols in place
Cape Town Tourism CEO, Enver Duminy, told the Cape Argus newspaper: “We believe that the protocols we have in place will give South Africans all the confidence to visit attractions, destinations and experiences in Cape Town, ensuring memorable moments in a safe and enjoyable way.”
Level 2 restrictions allow for more tourism-related activities, including:
- Interprovincial travel, which means you can travel between provinces for any purpose including leisure (go on holiday etc).
- Accommodation establishments may now welcome guests from other provinces. However, the number of guests at any time remain limited.
- The ban on alcohol has been lifted. Liquor outlets will be allowed to sell alcohol for off-site consumption from Monday to Thursday between 9am to 5pm, while licensed establishments (including restaurants) may serve alcohol for on-site consumption until 10pm.
- Nature Reserves, Parks and Beaches will be open for outdoor activity.
- All gatherings remain limited to a maximum of 50 people.
- Restrictions on all social gatherings will remain intact. However, small social gatherings such as visiting family will be allowed.
- The number of people allowed in a retail store, restaurant, cinema or other public space remains limited.
- Restaurants may still operate, but will need to adhere to the curfew. The number of guests at any time remain limited.
National borders remain shut
International travel remains prohibited, while safety precautions such as wearing a mask, social distancing, washing/sanitising your hands and limiting the number of people you are in contact with on a daily basis still apply. The curfew remains between the hours of 10pm and 4am.
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