One of Cape Town’s most distinctive neighbourhoods, Bo-Kaap, is on lockdown.

The Chairperson of the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association, Osman Shaboodien, has announced that the community is heeding President Cyril Ramaphosa's call to practise social distancing and good hygiene.

"As Bo-Kaap is a tourist destination we are more prone than other areas to get into contact with tourists from high-risk countries,” said Shaboodien. “We, therefore, place the tourism industry and government on notice that Bo-Kaap will be on lockdown and no tourists will be allowed into our area.”

He said the Bo-Kaap community had an average age demographic of 60-62 years, considered high risk for COVID-19.

"We have lots of buses coming through Bo-Kaap. We felt that the announcement was necessary after President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national State of Disaster, as a precautionary measure.

"We understand that some residents are involved in the tourism sector so it's not going to be easy and the decision was not taken lightly, but will be the best for our community.”

RIM extends suspension of tours

Robben Island Museum (RIM) has extended the suspension of tours from March 18 until such time that conditions allow it to be lifted.

“The conditions of our operations place our employees, visitors and patrons – whose health and lives are our top priority – in a vulnerable position of being potentially exposed to the virus in different ways,” said RIM in a media statement.

The Museum welcomes 1 000 visitors a day and by suspending tours it is heeding the President’s call to prohibit gatherings of more than 100 people.

On March 16, RIM announced that it would not impose any rescheduling fees or sanctions on visitors or tour operators who wished to postpone their tour to a later date or, in a worst-case scenario, cancel tours.

RIM’s ticket price was scheduled to increase from June 1. Given the circumstances, the museum said there would not be additional charges on any tickets rescheduled after June 1.