Celebrations and 'slight' uncertainty in hotel industry as last of the Covid-19 restrictions lifted
The repeal of the last remaining Covid-19 regulations, including the wearing of face masks and restricted gatherings, has elicited celebrations and slight confusion in the hospitality industry.
Hotel groups particularly welcomed the lifting on restrictions for gatherings, allowing them to return to full capacity at events, restaurants and bars.
Michael Nel, MD of Red Carnation Group which owns The Oyster Box Hotel in Umhlanga and The Twelve Apostles in Cape Town, said: “We welcome this morning’s [Thursday] news. Having this restriction dropped will enable our restaurants, bars and events venues to operate at full capacity. We have been running them at 50% capacity which has a detrimental affect on our revenue.”
However, there is still some confusion among staff and the public about face masks.
“Because it was so sudden, people are a little unsure of whether this is real. It's probably because it's so new. But I'm sure people will be thrilled not to have to wear their masks wherever they are,” said Nel.
Graham Wood, Sun International Group's COO for hospitality, welcomed the news.
“The restrictions on gatherings in particular have been onerous on the gaming, hospitality, conferencing and eventing industries. The relaxation of the regulations will have a positive effect on tourism and we are hoping for an accelerated recovery in international leisure demand from our global source markets,” he said.
Henri-Basil Hearne, communications manager for Sun International’s Time Square Hotel in Tshwane, said regular guests were elated.
“Some said it was the right thing to do and about time. People are excited to go back to full capacity, especially at stadiums and shows,” he said.
“There still seems to be some people who will continue to wear masks. It appears guests are happier about the full capacity of events than they are about the masks.”
Support independent journalism by subscribing to the Sunday Times. Just R20 for the first month.