Airbnb banned
  • New regulations are now in place to allow overnight stays, just for fun, in a hotel, lodge, bed and breakfast, timeshare, resort, or guest house.
  • Not on that list – and still specifically banned – are home-sharing services such as Airbnb.
  • Some resorts, including Sun City, won't reopen, because they aren't financially viable while they aren't allowed to host people from other provinces, owners say.
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It's official: under a change to lockdown regulations formally published late on Friday, you can sleep in some places other than your own home again, just for fun, as long as you don't cross a provicial boundary to get there.

The new rules add "persons utilizing such facilities for intra-provincial leisure purposes" to the list of permitted reasons for accommodation establishments to be open. But that only applies to a specified list of operations: "hotels, loges, bed and breakfasts, timeshare facilities and resorts and guest houses".

Not included are Airbnb-style rentals. In fact, those are specifically banned, in the dwindling list of economic activities that remain illegal: "short term home-sharing/letting/leasing/rental".

"Preventing individuals and families from renting a private self-catering unit but allowing them to congregate with large groups in hotels and hostels defies logic and is impossible to reconcile with public health concerns," said Airbnb's country manager in a statement.

"We respectfully hope that the government will reconsider this decision, which will hurt local families, livelihoods and communities."

Not all accommodation establishments that can open will open.

"Some of our properties such as the Wild Coast Sun and Golden Valley Casino in Worcester are very dependent on out of town visitors.," said Graham Wood, Sun International group COO for hospitality, in a statement.

"Unfortunately, resorts such as Sun City will have to remain closed until inter provincial travel can resume."

All tourist attractions must also remain closed under the new rules – except for in-province visitors that can drive themselves or who join a guided tour.

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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