Hunting and game drives allowed as tourism sector opens up at level 3

Hunting and game drives are among the few leisure activities authorised to return under level 3 of the lockdown.

South Africa’s public and private game parks may open for self-drive excursions.

Hunting and game drives can resume

National Parks will begin reopening and welcoming back their staff of rangers and tour guides.

Hiking will also be allowed in National Parks under the terms of level 3 of the national lockdown as announced by the Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane on Saturday 30 May.

“The past two months of lockdown have been difficult for the tourism sector,” Kubayi-Ngubane said.

“We continued to see many businesses in the sector fighting for survival, and our projections showed that almost 600,000 jobs were at risk if the sector doesn’t come into operation by September 2020. 

“This reality led to both government and private sector working together to be both innovative and putting protocol guidelines to get the sector back into operation.”

Leisure travel between provinces remains prohibited and while hotels and other accommodation are allowed to open without a permit, overnight stays for anything other than work are prohibited. 

Tourism sector allowed activity at level 3

Kubayi-Ngubane detailed how the sector would be opened up from 1 June.

  • Restaurants for delivery or collection of food. “Restaurants with liquor licences are allowed to sell alcohol only for takeout and delivery. In this area there’s been an outcry that they must be allowed for onsite consumption. We are in discussions with restaurants so that whatever solution is provided in this regard for sit-down doesn’t perpetuate the inequality and we are confident that in our next submission to NCCC this will be considered.”
  • Professional services – eg, tourist guides, tour operators, travel agents, tourism information officers will be allowed to come back to operations. Professional services, including the training of nature guides and other related services that are able to ensure safe distance will be allowed.
  • Public and private game farms will be allowed for self-drive excursions.
  • Hiking will be allowed in compliance with existing guidelines and not in groups.
  • Accommodation activities will be allowed, except for leisure. Establishments will no longer require a letter from minister to operate. They will be required to ensure that they accommodate those in permitted services and keep records for inspections by the department.
  • Hunting and gaming activities will also be allowed.

Prohibited activities

According to the minister the following economic activities would remain prohibited under level 3:

  • Conferences, events, entertainment activities (such as festivals) will still not be permitted. “It must be noted that some of the conference venues have been used in the fight against the pandemic and as such are allowed to be operational, including being used for distribution points of social relief measures.”
  • Casinos will still not be permitted.
  • Leisure travel will not be permitted.

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