Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has announced the easing of leisure travel restrictions to allow for intra-provincial travel (travel within one’s own province). This will come into effect as soon as the new regulations are gazetted.
Travellers are still not permitted to travel between provinces (Inter-Provincial Travel) for leisure purposes.
Accommodation establishments are now permitted to operate for leisure intra-provincially subject to the following: –
- No more than two people per room except for a nuclear family (parents and their children). Establishments are already legally obliged to require and keep a copy of proof of identity.
- Short-term home rental/sharing remain closed.
Tour operators, in the new regulations, will be allowed to conduct guided tours in open safari vehicles subject to directions, which include the provision for both social distancing and maximum ventilation.
Good news for restaurants is that the curfew will be moved to 10pm, allowing restaurants to operate at peak dinner times. Alcohol will, however, still not be allowed.
With regards to relief measures, the Minister admitted that of the 7284 valid applications submitted, the resources only allowed to assist 4,000 businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector. A total of 3,284 applications were not funded due to depletion of resources.
The processing of payments for tour guides took longer than expected. The ministry has received a list of 9,380 tourist guides from the provinces. Some of the tour guides however are already registered with UIF. To avoid double-dipping, the ministry has initiated a verification process.
The first batch of payments to 1,378 verified eligible beneficiaries have been made. The second batch will be paid upon completion of the verification process. The verification process will be completed tomorrow, 31 July 2020.
Other Government relief measures
The qualifying criteria for the R200 billion Covid-19 Loan Guarantee Scheme have been reviewed, so that more businesses can gain access to the funds.
The Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) has been extended until 15 August 2020.
A recovery tourism plan will be released for consultation on 01 August. The travel industry is welcome to make inputs between 1 and 15 August 2020.
Inputs can be submitted at the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to view the revised COGTA Regulations issued on 31 July 2020.