South Africa prepares for Level 3 Lockdown. Many tour operators hope for some sort of compromise before the end of the lockdown levels. The government made it clear that all hotels and accommodation units, with a few exceptions remain closed at all levels. Some easing of restrictions is limited to essential travel, essential business, or hotels in use as quarantine facilities. But, the tourism industry remains hopeful that self-catering accommodation may get a green light.
South Africa – Twitter users ask about provincial self-catering accommodation for leisure
When President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the new Level 3 restrictions for June, once again, it emerged that accommodation faced severe restrictions. And, most people understand that. After all, public gatherings and sharing communal dining areas in lodges and hotels could pose a COVID-19 risk. Even camping comes with problems as campers nearly always share ablution blocks.
if you enjoy the wilderness and hope for that next trip to uMkhuze Game Reserve or Kruger National Park, realistically, that’s not likely to happen in the near future. The regulations clearly note that all private and public game reserves remain closed. However, some people on Twitter hopefully ask if self-catering holiday homes could become available for guests in level 3. They don’t even hope for inter-provincial travel and look for local establishments.
Public gatherings and other high-risk activities, especially those that involve close contact between large numbers of people, remain prohibited to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/HD3aEOQD6I
— Presidency | South Africa 🇿🇦 (@PresidencyZA) May 24, 2020
Self-catering holiday homes not very different from staying at home, people feel
While some timeshare units apparently operate as residences only, other holiday homes remain off-limits for leisure during Level 3 lockdown. People on social media wonder why? After all, they reason, if a home is fully self-catering and not serviced, then why not relocate to a nice place? Plus, many establishments offer really nice discounts right now. People who book will only be able to take up their bookings at a later date.
Business Tech reported that the president of South Africa said in his May 24 media briefing, that accommodation and air travel ease for business purposes only. However, News 24 reported that the tourism industry met virtually with the president and discussed the revival of the sector. The outlet noted, “Some of the stakeholders also pitched for interprovincial travel and self-catering accommodation to be included on Level 3 of the lockdown.”
Will self-catering accommodation get any green light before the end of lockdown levels?
For now, it looks like balancing self-catering with possible interaction with other leisure travelers remains a headache. For example, you could book an entire home in a small town like Lamberts Bay and not interact with other visitors to the area at all. Well, unless you visit the shopping center. But, what about high-density cities like Durban or even Cape Town? Inevitably, it results in more people on the promenades, one area of concern already.
It seems that the government listens to the concerns of the tourism industry. But, for now, it’s not at all likely that people may book a self-catering accommodation unit for leisure even if they live in the same province. Possibly, consideration may come for leisure purposes during level 2.
Remember to check back with SAns Newsfeed often for more information about self-catering accommodation in South Africa.