South African Tourism has advised that all tourism businesses and stakeholders need to adhere to the lockdown regulations that come into effect at midnight on March 26.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a countrywide lockdown on Monday (March 23) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, noting  that only certain categories of businesses could remain open.

For the tourism industry, this means that no new bookings will be accepted with immediate effect and South African citizens who arrive back in the country from international travel will automatically be placed under quarantine for 14 days.

SA Tourism also appealed to tour operators and tour guides to act responsibly and halt all operations as per the national lockdown to ensure the safety of everyone within South Africa.

“We urge all tourism stakeholders, particularly accommodation owners, to co-operate and make sure none of their international guests leave unless they produce their flight ticket and are catching the next flight home,” the tourism body said in a statement.

“We can’t all be essential services. I’ve received a lot of calls from people asking if they qualify as essential services,” said Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane at the inter-ministerial briefing on March 24.

South African Tourism encouraged establishments and operators to ask their guests to contact their embassy as soon as possible to ascertain what support was in place for them while they were still in South Africa.
Please click here to access the updated list of Embassy contacts.

South African Tourism has prepared a comprehensive list of FAQs to help guide the tourism industry and addressed tourism as a non-essential service.