With President Cyril Ramaphosa having announced the move to a Level 1 lockdown for South Africa, effective September 20, positive reactions have been streaming in from all spheres of the economy, but grievances around weekend alcohol sales, the curfew and only partially reopened borders remain.
Hospitality and entertainment group Sun International says the easing of restrictions is a long-awaited relief for the industry, particularly with leisure facilities being permitted to allow 50% of capacity and larger gatherings in outdoor and indoor venues.
The company can now start operating its entertainment and conferencing facilities, which is especially important for key properties such as The Palace, Sun City, Table Bay Hotel, the Maslow Sandton, Wild Coast Sun and The Boardwalk.
This while Airports Company South Africa is preparing to facilitate cross-border travel at the OR Tambo, King Shaka and Cape Town International Airports.
However, travellers still need to adhere to Covid-19 safety measures, including presenting a negative Covid-19 test not older than 72 hours from time of departure, when arriving in South Africa.
Travellers will also be screened on arrival and those with symptoms will be required to be tested.
Where necessary, travellers will need to enter mandatory quarantine facilities at their own cost.
The President also requested travellers to download the Covid Alert application, so that contact tracing can be done if a positive case of the virus is confirmed.
The Association of Southern African Travel Agents (Asata) adds that travel agencies were among the first and hardest hit by the Covid-19 lockdown, and have been working around the clock to re-accommodate travellers and deal with rapidly changing airline and supplier policies.
“With the reopening of borders, travel agencies can now help uplift and strengthen other industries by providing companies, organisations and government with much-needed travel management services. Business travel remains a crucial element for any organisation wanting to grow and expand,” says Asata CEO Otto de Vries.
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