A quick update on the Lesotho border crossing for ‘foreigners’, which is us South Africans going over. You will need a negative Covid test result, valid within 72 hours of your crossing at the border; this will allow you entry into Lesotho (plus passport, car papers). You will then need to take another test in Lesotho (Maseru), which will also need to test negative, with a current 72 hour waiting period for results. This negative test result will need to be presented at the border for re-entry into SA. We are waiting to hear if the border will be testing at all any time soon; with a quicker turn around time than 72 hours, but for now; this is the criteria to comply with.
The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has promulgated the regulations applicable during the lockdown Alert Level 4.
The application period of the regulations is for the duration of Alert Level 4, with the exception of the general provisions, provisions relating to powers of Ministers and tracking and tracing provisions, which remain in force for the duration of the national lockdown.
The regulations are voluminous and somewhat difficult to follow.
We have dissected the most important regulations into separate categories below:
- General measures to contain the spread of the virus
- Business sectors permitted to operate
- Energy and fuel supply
- Mining operations
- Movement of persons
- OHS requirements
- Movement of children
- Attendance of funerals
- Public transport
- Closure of borders
- Transportation of cargo
- Public gatherings
- Premises closed to the public
- Transportation and sale of liquor
- Tobacco and related products
Should you wish to, you can view the gazetted regulations by clicking here.
The R200m Tourism Relief Fund is established as an intervention to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the tourism sector.
Visit www.tourism.gov.za for comprehensive information on the COVID19 Tourism Relief Fund terms and qualifying criteria. SMME’s can submit funding applications by completing a form accessible online at www.tourism.gov.za/Pages/Covid19tourismrelieffund.aspx
Alternatively contact the call centre on 0860 868 747 weekdays between 08:00 – 22:00.
On 23 March 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the National Coronavirus Command Council has decided to enforce a nation-wide lockdown for 21 days with effect from midnight on Thursday 26 March 2020 to midnight on Thursday 16 April 2020.
This means that all South Africans will have to stay at home. There are however categories of people who will be exempted from this lockdown. This include, amongst others, people involved in the production, distribution and supply of food, as well as supermarkets.
This decision should be seen against the backdrop that the number of COVID-19 cases has escalated from 160,000 to over 340,000 confirmed cases across the world. In South Africa, the number of confirmed cases has increased six-fold in just eight days from 61 cases to 402 cases. According to the President, the nation-wide lockdown will be enacted in terms of the Disaster Management Act and will entail the following:
- From midnight on Thursday 26 March 2020 until midnight on Thursday 16 April 2020, all South Africans will have to stay at home.
- The categories of people who will be exempted from this lockdown are the following: health workers in the public and private sectors, emergency personnel, those in security services – such as the police, traffic officers, military medical personnel, soldiers – and other persons necessary for our response to the pandemic. It will also include those involved in the production, distribution and supply of food and basic goods, essential banking services, the maintenance of power, water and telecommunications services, laboratory services, and the provision of medical and hygiene products. A full list of essential personnel will be published.
- Individuals will not be allowed to leave their homes except under strictly controlled circumstances, such as to seek medical care, buy food, medicine and other supplies or collect a social grant.
- Temporary shelters that meet the necessary hygiene standards will be identified for homeless people. Sites are also being identified for quarantine and self-isolation for people who cannot self-isolate at home.
- All shops and businesses will be closed, except for pharmacies, laboratories, banks, essential financial and payment services, including the JSE, supermarkets, petrol stations and health care providers.
- Companies that are essential to the production and transportation of food, basic goods and medical supplies will remain open.
Coronavirus has spread to more than 145 countries or territories and claimed more than 6,400 lives.
HOW TO STAY SAFE
The best thing is regular and thorough hand washing, preferably with soap and water since Coronavirus spreads when an infected person coughs small droplets – packed with the virus – into the air. These can be breathed in, or cause an infection if you touch a surface they have landed on then you touch face, accidently transmitting the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. Thus, coughing and sneezing into tissues, not touching your face with unwashed hands, washing your hands often and avoiding close contact with infected people are important for limiting the spread.
- wash hands frequently with soap and water or use a sanitiser gel
- catch coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues
- throw away used tissues
- avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- avoid close contact with people who are unwell
What are the coronavirus symptoms?
Coronavirus infects the lungs. The symptoms start with a fever followed by a dry cough, which can lead to breathing problems.
It takes five days on average to start showing the symptoms, scientists have said, but some people will get symptoms much later than this.
The incubation period lasts up to 14 days, the World Health Organization (WHO) says. But some researchers say it may be up to 24 days.
Following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Address to the nation yesterday, 15 March 2020, on measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa, the Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, has confirmed that the tourism industry will play its role in effecting these measures.
The first measure is to postpone Africa’s Travel INDABA, which was scheduled to take place from 12 to 14 May 2020. This step supports Cabinet’s decision to encourage social distancing by prohibiting gatherings of more than 100 people.
Sisa Ntshona, CEO of SA Tourism says, “We are in full support of the Minister’s decision and are duty bound to protect our nation and industry.”
South African Tourism, through its National Convention Bureau (NCB), will be contacting participating exhibitors about the postponement. Further, the organisation will consult with the broader industry on workable future dates for INDABA.
The newly instituted travel bans on foreign nationals from high-risk countries, including the cancellation of visas, will have a profound impact on the tourism sector. South African Tourism in conjunction with tourism industry stakeholders will collectively explore measures to ensure the sector’s recovery and to protect the sustainability and attractiveness of travel and tourism going forward.
“We appreciate that this is an extremely difficult time for our industry as the repercussions of the virus reverberate through the entire value chain. We should use this opportunity to collaborate to find solutions beyond the current crisis, which will have long-term benefits for our country as a travel destination of choice”, says Ntshona.
Stakeholders are encouraged to visit www.southafrica.net for regular updates.
For media enquiries, please contact: Altaaf Kazi at South African Tourism
Tel: +27 11 895-3046 or 082 553 9595