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Tourism sector will take a while to recover from COVID-19 - Kubayi-Ngubane

Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said that while easing lockdown regulations for certain sectors would help businesses, it must be done under strict health conditions.

FILE: Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said that while easing lockdown regulations for certain sectors would help businesses, it must be done under strict health conditions.

The minister has announced guidelines for restaurants, conference centres and casinos.

The minister said that all COVID-19 protocols must be followed, with some extra directions, especially when sitting down for a meal at a restaurant.

No alcohol or buffets will be offered, menus and tables must be sanitised and there must be adequate spacing.

Turning to conference centres and casinos, only a certain number of people will be allowed.

The minister conceded that it would take a while before the industry recovered.

Kubayi-Ngubane said that while the tourism industry was bleeding because of COVID-19, government needed to be careful as it reopened the industry.

"No alcohol consumption on site. When alcohol consumption on-site is allowed, it will be reflected in the regulations."

While restaurants and hotels were open for certain activities, the minister said that the R200 million relief fund for tourism was all they could offer.

"Daily, many people are losing their jobs but the reality is that we do have a pandemic that must be fought."

Kubayi-Ngubane said that it would take time for the industry to recover.

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