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(Photo: Ethan Van Diemen)
  • South Africans are still only allowed to do self-drive day trips, within their provinces of residence.
  • Only business travellers can stay over at hotels and other accommodation.
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa previously said restrictions on accommodation would be relaxed.
  • For more articles, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Government has decided not to relax travel rules in South Africa – no leisure travel will be allowed under “advanced” lockdown Level 3. Only business travellers can stay over in accommodation like hotels and guest houses, as has been the case for some time now.

You are still only allowed “self-drive” day trips, and these may be only within your province of residence. Travel over provincial borders is only allowed under certain strict conditions, for example for work, medical procedures, funerals or university.

But if you live in a so-called coronavirus “hot spot” you may have to stay within your area if infections get out of hand.

During a briefing on Friday night, tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said when an “issue” with hotspots emerges, new guidelines – “or even regulations” – will be issued to restrict travel.

South Africa now has 14 hotspots, areas with high numbers of coronavirus cases, according to the Department of Health.

News24 reported that the hotspots were City of Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni metro in Gauteng, eThekwini metro and iLembe District in KwaZulu-Natal, Buffalo City and Nelson Mandela Bay metros in the Eastern Cape, as well as the Cape Town City metro and the Cape Winelands district in the Western Cape. At the end of last month, they were joined by Mangaung metro in the Free State, Oliver Tambo and Chris Hani district municipalities in the Eastern Cape, as well as the Overberg, Garden Route and West Coast district municipalities in the Western Cape.

PICS | The South Coast sardine run is in full swing – just with masks and ‘closed’ beaches

Accredited and licensed accommodation establishments, with the exception of home sharing accommodation like AirBnB, are allowed to host business travellers. 

While regulations about the rules for the reopening of restaurants, casinos, cinemas and theatres are still pending, Kubayi-Ngubane outlined some of the new rules on Friday. These establishments can reopen on Monday.

READ | You’ll be able to go a restaurant or casino from Monday – but you can’t have booze there

New rules include that restaurants and casinos must make guests fill out self-assessment forms. Alcohol sales remain for off-site consumption only.

On 17 June President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that several restrictions would be lifted or relaxed to reduce the economic harm of lockdown.

These would include "accredited and licensed accommodation", he said.

But in those sectors the rules "remain as we have previously announced because there is no new activity on this one, that’s what we want to say," said Kubayi-Ngubane on Friday night. "We've been operating in this space, we continue as we said."

(Compiled by Helena Wasserman)

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