The tourism ministry has published new rules for safe operations in the tourism and hospitality sector amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The rules, published by tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu in the government gazette on Friday, outline operational procedures for holiday destinations, casinos, tourist attractions, weddings, meetings, convention sites, curio shops, restaurants and other food service operators, and tour operators.
“In developing norms and standards for the safe operation of the tourism sector, the objective is to facilitate consensus on minimum universal practices which the sector will abide by to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“The policy response assumes it will be some time before the pandemic subsides or until a widely accessible vaccine or other appropriate scientific solution is available.”
The ministry said the regulations will promote traveller confidence in support of resurgent demand.
The rules for weddings, travel, restaurants and convention sites include:
- hygiene, health and safety protocols;
- training staff to implement safety protocols;
- guidelines to manage Covid-19 at tourism facilities and provision of essentials such as sanitisers, social distancing markers and mandatory face masks;
- setting up plans in case staff members or guests fall ill, particularly with Covid-19-related symptoms;
- management of staff and guest numbers at facilities to reduce the risk of Covid-19 spreading; and
- ensuring implementation of social distancing and hygiene
The ministry called on establishments to ensure that guests are well-informed of all Covid-19 protocols before they arrive on site and to limit physical contact, including:
- SMSing guests all rules and regulations;
- advance contactless check-in;
- contactless payment; and
- e-tickets and e-bookings.
All establishments must ensure they have cleaning and disinfection plans, a health and safety officer, and proper documentation detailing the travel status of guests and staff.