New lockdown rules extend curfew and allow leisure travel in South Africa

Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has announced new lockdown rule changes aimed at reducing the economic strain of the lockdown on South Africa’s tourism industry.

Speaking a media briefing on Thursday 30 July, the Minister said these changes follow consultations made with cabinet and the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC).

Importantly, the national curfew has been extended to 22:00 daily to allow restaurants to run a more profitable dinner service while still allowing staff to legally return home.

This means that South Africans will now be allowed to be outside their homes between 04:00 and 22:00.

Kubayi-Ngubane said that the sale of alcohol will remain prohibited.

Other lockdown regulation changes include the following:

  • Individuals will be allowed to leave their homes and travel for leisure purposes but only within their province.
  • Accommodation facilities will be allowed to open for leisure purposes. However, no more than two people or a family with up to two parents and two children may share a room.
  • Short-term rental sharing, such as Airbnb, remains closed.
  • Inter-provincial travel for leisure is still prohibited.
  • Guided tours in open-top vehicles will be allowed.

With regards to Airbnb, the Minister said that the department is in discussions with Airbnb and is considering protocols submitted by the company, which it will then take to the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) for approval.

These regulations will be implemented following the publication of an official gazette detailing the rule changes.

South Africa vs The World

A recent comparison conducted by MyBroadband found that South Africa’s lockdown regulations are unique in many respects.

Unlike many other countries, South Africa began relaxing lockdown regulations ahead of its peak in confirmed cases, resulting in the virus continuing to spread across the country.

Additionally, South Africa is one of the only countries in the world which has implemented a nationwide ban on the sale of alcohol and cigarettes,

South Africa is currently on COVID-19 alert level 3, although a series of “advanced level 3” regulations have relaxed this lockdown stage extensively, with the exception of the alcohol ban and curfew that were re-imposed after being lifted.

The full media briefing by Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane is below.

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New lockdown rules extend curfew and allow leisure travel in South Africa