Guided and walking tours under lockdown level 3: what you need to know

07 August 2020 - 06:43 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Guided and walking tours are now fully legal again.
Guided and walking tours are now fully legal again.
Image: Vanessa Stephen

Guided tours and walking tours during level 3 lockdown are now fully legal.

On Thursday, tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane gazetted the new regulations, which now allow for two to share a room when travelling for leisure purposes.

Individuals are permitted to travel for leisure as long it is within the province in which they live.

Kubayi-Ngubane said no more than two people are allowed to occupy a room unless the occupants are a nuclear family, which consists of two parents and up to two children.

Like with any other sectors, tour operators are required to keep detailed records, including ID numbers and telephone numbers of participants, and those must be handed over to the minister, should they be demanded.

Tour guides, or “a person managing a guided tour”, are also made responsible for keeping their guests safe and should ensure that the loading capacity of guided tour vehicles and other modes of public transport comply with the directions issued by transport minister Fikile Mbalula in respect of the loading capacity of public transport vehicles.

Some of the duties include:

Sanitise people involved in the tour before they enter a tour vehicle, rail or boat.

Frequently sanitising guests during their tour or provide guests or people involved in the tour with sanitisers for frequent use.

Ensure that during guided activities that require walking, a social distance of 1.5m is maintained at all times among people involved in the tour.

Ensure that windows on both sides of the tour vehicles, where applicable, are kept 5cm open on both sides.

Where snacks or water are provided, everything must be pre-packaged and containers, bottles, and utensils must all be disposable.

Overnight accommodation at SANParks

The South African National Parks (SANParks) announced that accommodation in the majority of parks will gradually open from August 14.

The Addo Elephant Park, Camdeboo National Park, and Karoo National Park will open on August 17, while the Mountain Zebra National Park will open three days after.

SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni said the opening of most accommodation would be done under the strictest health protocols to safeguard staff and guests.

“Accommodation will not run at full capacity as we will employ a phased-in approach to opening. Therefore our loyal guests can expect limited availability of accommodation in some parks at these beginning stages of our reopening, with a gradual increase in availability in the next few weeks,” said Mketeni.

“Overnight guests will be required to provide proof of residence (municipal account or similar legally accepted form of verification of primary residence) at the time of booking accommodation and again when checking in. No more than two people will be allowed per accommodation unit except for parents and children.”