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Leisure tourism remains restricted - Tourism Dept

The Tourism Ministry said that it was wrong to interpret the adjusted level 3 lockdown regulations as a 'free for all opening of leisure tourism'.

Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - The Tourism Department maintains that leisure tourism remains restricted.

Some within the sector believe that leisure accommodation is allowed under gazetted regulations.

This despite the Tourism Minister last week clarifying that no overnight stay was permitted.

The Tourism Ministry said that it was wrong to interpret the adjusted level 3 lockdown regulations as a "free for all opening of leisure tourism".

Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane's spokesperson, Hlengiwe Nhlabathi-Mokota, explained that leisure activities, including mostly daily recreational activities which required no overnight accommodation, were allowed.

"In the strictest terms, leisure tourism remains closed and most activities, experiences and attractions - big sporting events, cultural events, going to the beach, group hiking, spectator events and the like - which causes leisure tourism which would trigger provincial travel and demand for overnight accommodation remains prohibited under level 3."

She said that interpreting the regulations to mean anything other than that was wrong, particularly with regard to inter-provincial travel, wholesale accommodation and hospitality services.

"It remains the voice of those who want to ride and perpetuate the perceived misunderstanding as a lobbying mechanism for the opening up of the tourism sector beyond what the Minister of Tourism and government, in general, has been doing."

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Monday morning announced the reopening of four more domestic airports, including Bram Fischer, Kruger Mpumalanga and Port Elizabeth.

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