Manor house and pool, Samara Private Game reserve
Opinions, Travel and Tourism

COVID19 Alert levels and what it means for tourism in South Africa.

Feeding the country, minimizing the rate of infection, and kick starting the economy are the top priorities for the next few months.  Acceptable as this is, it does not bode well for tourism, as this industry is not permitted to function until we reach Level 0.

While the country goes to Level 4 at midnight on 30th May, it is highly likely that infection hotspots in the Western Cape and Gauteng will remain on Level 5.

The Levels are to get people back to work, just not people in the hospitality and tourism industry.

All tourism industry stakeholders can do now is sit tight and encourage everyone to abide by the rules so we can attain Level 1 and the all clear status as soon as possible.

There are a few small opportunities that might bring some income to accommodation, transport and airlines, but even at Level One, while personal movement is not restricted, recreational pursuits list walking, cycling and jogging. Public gatherings are still prohibited, mandatory wearing of masks and social distancing is still enforced, and movement is recommended only for essential reasons.

Accommodation is only permitted at level one, however at this level personal movement is still recommended for essential reasons only. At Level 2 business travel is permitted, and one would assume business travelers need to be accommodated.  From Level 5 to Level 2 accommodation is permitted for quarantine purposes and essential workers. This might be worth exploring as a viable short term income generator.

Flying will resume for essential and business purposes at Level 2.

Curfews will be implemented between 8pm & 5am from Level 5 to Level 2.

The only hope is that some provinces with low levels of infection might reach Level 1 and Level 0 fairly soon and would be able to generate some business from domestic travelers in that province, or from provinces on the same level as them. This would require very targeted marketing.

Restaurants have the best deal, being allowed to sell food via delivery at Level 4, takaways at Level 2 and sit down meals with social distancing and other compliances at Level 1.

Public gatherings are not permitted at any level.  Imagining tourist attractions re-opening, even with social distancing, contactless transactions, access control and hygiene protocols, just seems to far into the future to contemplate.

Please read the official document thoroughly, statements below are only as they pertain to tourism.

Level 5.

Restaurants: Restaurant, take-away, bar and canteen services not permitted

Accommodation: not permitted, except for quarantine, essential services

Travel: Interprovincial travel is not permitted except to return to work with proof of employment. Air transport not permitted.

Personal: Stay at home, other than essential travel for work and to purchase essential goods. No recreational travel or to meet friends or family. Mandatory use of cloth masks. Social distancing (2m away from other persons) to be applied in public.

All public gatherings are prohibited.

Curfew: Curfews will be implemented between 8pm and 5am, unless for essential service workers returning from or going to work.

Level 4

Restaurants: only for food delivery services (9am-8pm) and subject to curfew (no sit down or pick-up allowed)

Accommodation: not permitted, except for quarantine, essential services

Travel: Interprovincial travel is not permitted except to return to work with proof of employment. Air transport is not permitted.

Personal: People can exercise under strict public health conditions, subject to directions, which will exclude organised activities, recreational facilities, and gyms. Stay at home, other than essential travel for work and to purchase essential goods. No recreational travel or to meet friends or family. Mandatory use of cloth masks. Social distancing (2m away from other persons) to be applied in public.

All public gatherings are prohibited.

Curfew: Curfews will be implemented between 8pm and 5am, unless for essential service workers returning from or going to work

Level 3

Restaurants: only for food delivery services (9am-8pm) and subject to curfew (no sit down or pick-up allowed)

Accommodation: not permitted, except for quarantine, essential services

Travel: Interprovincial travel is not permitted except to return to work with proof of employment. Limited domestic air travel, with a restriction on the number of flights per day and authorisation based on the reason for travel and subject to the ports of entry arrangements

Personal: Walking, jogging and cycling permitted. People can exercise under strict public health conditions, subject to directions, which will exclude organised activities, recreational facilities, and gyms. Stay at home, other than essential travel for work and to purchase essential goods. No recreational travel or to meet friends or family. Mandatory use of cloth masks. Social distancing (2m away from other persons) to be applied in public.

All public gatherings are prohibited.

Curfew: Curfews will be implemented between 8pm and 5am, unless for essential service workers returning from or going to work

Level 2

Restaurants: permitted, only for take-away and delivery

Accommodation: not permitted, except for quarantine, essential services

Travel: Interprovincial travel is permitted. Limited domestic air travel, with a restriction on the number of flights per day and authorisation based on the reason for travel and for business travel and subject to the ports of entry arrangements

Personal: Walking, jogging and cycling permitted. People can exercise under strict public health conditions, subject to directions, which will exclude organised activities, recreational facilities, and gyms. Stay at home, other than essential travel for work and to purchase essential goods. No recreational travel or to meet friends or family. Mandatory use of cloth masks. Social distancing (2m away from other persons) to be applied in public.

All public gatherings are prohibited.

Curfew: Curfews will be implemented between 8pm and 5am, unless for essential service workers returning from or going to work

Level 1

Restaurants: Restaurants, including sit-down, take-away and delivery, permitted

Accommodation: Permitted

Travel: All air travel permitted

Personal: No limitation on personal movement but persons are encouraged to limit movement to essential travel

Curfew: No curfew.

Please look at the Request for Comments Schedule of Services Draft Document here

Moyo Pier, Di Brown
Moyo Pier, Durban, South Africa
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1 Comment

  • Reply Heather 28th Apr 2020 at 11:15 am

    I’m still so confused! Haha.

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