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Minister: Coronavirus starting to hurt SA’s tourism sector

The virus has spread to every continent except Antarctica, forcing several countries to institute travel restrictions and lockdowns to contain the spread.

FILE: Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said the coronavirus was impacting negatively on the country’s tourism industry.

The minister spoke to Eyewitness News following the Tourism Leadership Forum held in Sandton where stakeholders raised concerns around the virus.

Government has announced seven people have now tested positive for COVID-19 in the country.

The virus has spread to every continent except Antarctica, forcing several countries to institute travel restrictions and lockdowns to contain the spread.

Kubayi-Ngubane said the coronavirus was costing the country’s tourism industry.

“We’ve seen cancellations in the hospitality industry, for hotels, bed and breakfasts, guesthouses and car rentals. We've also seen a reduction in the number of flights.”

She said the movement of people across countries was now minimal.

With seven cases now confirmed in the country, the minister said government hadn’t yet decided whether to shut public attractions for holiday makers.