Government in Cape Town is calling for tourism and hospitality businesses to comply with new COVID-19 regulations (announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa December 28, in the midst of Cape Town’s peak seaso), to ensure they remain in business.

These restrictions, set to be in place until January 15 after which they will be reviewed, include:

  • A ban on the sale and on-site consumption of alcohol.
  • An extension of the national curfew which is now from 9pm to 6am.
  • All non-essential establishments including bars and restaurants are required to close at 8pm.
  • A ban on all gatherings except for funerals and other limited exceptions.

Officials in Cape Town and the Western Cape have said that with large numbers of visitors currently in the city, complying with the above regulations is imperative.

“The reality is that if we don’t all take the necessary measures now to contain this health crisis, the visitor economy could suffer even worse long-term damage,” said Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management, James Vos.

“We realise that these new restrictions make it difficult for some establishments to operate sustainably, but if we all do our part in reducing the spread of the virus over the next few weeks, these could possibly be lifted,” he added.

Ceo of Cape Town Tourism, Enver Duminy, said: “The prohibition on social gatherings has had an impact of the professional events industry.” He explained that many businesses had already purchased perishable goods intended for events scheduled for this period.

“While these new restrictions are disappointing, they are understandable, as these temporary interventions will allow us to slow down the spread of the virus,” said Enver.

“All of us, businesses, residents and tourists, need to change our behaviour and adhere to safety precautions so that we can remain open for business,” said James, adding that keeping the tourism economy open would contribute to overall economic recovery.

Both James and Enver stressed the importance of businesses staying compliant to keep their doors open, with Enver adding that he hoped law enforcement would be swift in the shutting down of non-compliant establishments.

“The City has also established a compliance hotline where the public can report outbreak events or non-compliance by establishments,” said James.

Encouraging the industry to act selflessly in these difficult times James and Enver both asked business owners to “do it for Cape Town”.