At a virtual press conference held today the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, announced changes to the current regulations. For some it’s a step in the right direction, for the large majority it’s simply not enough.
The biggest change that I can see it that individuals will now be allowed to travel for leisure whereas, up until now (and until the regulations are actually gazetted) that has been restricted. But, inter-provincial travel for leisure remains restricted. So you can travel about within your province, but not between provinces.
Another change is that certain accommodation products such as B&B’s will be allowed to once again trade – provided there is no more than 2 occupants per room (excludes nuclear families) and naturally records need to be kept.
Interestingly, such term rental products like AirBnb will not be allowed to open. It remains to be seen whether they will ever open considering the industry falls foul of the tourism sector regulations – but more about that another time.
Open vehicles will also now be allowed to offer tours again though all be it under strict conditions (social distancing and so on).
Lastly, the 9pm curfew that was in place has now moved back to 10pm – I’m guessing this one came about because of restaurat staff that needed to get home before curfew kicked. A later start time means restaurants can work a bit later and try claw back some of the revenue they’ve lost.
To Little To Late?
It’s a start to normalcy again a the very least. Sure it doesn’t go far enough, but what did everyone expect? I personally can’t work as a tour guide until international tourists start arriving and that’s definitely not going to happen before 2021, and looking at the 2nd wave of infections happening in Europe and elsewhere, I don’t see things changing until probably March of 2021.