On Sunday 15 March 2020, the South African government declared a national state of disaster due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said, “We have decided to take urgent and drastic measures to manage the disease, protect the people of our country and reduce the impact of the virus on our society and on our economy. We have now declared a national state of disaster in terms of the Disaster Management Act. This will enable us to have an integrated and coordinated disaster management mechanism that will focus on preventing and reducing the outbreak of this virus.”

At the time of the announcement, there were 61 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in South Africa. Most of these were from people who had travelled out of the country, but the first few cases of internal transmission are now being reported.

Many of the measures put in place to deal with the outbreak will have a huge impact on the business events and business tourism industries. These include the prohibition of gatherings of more than 100 people, as well as travel restrictions – including the prohibition of all non-essential travel outside of South Africa, and the discouragement of all non-essential domestic travel.

In order for our industry to manage this situation as best we can, we need to share factual information and sound advice. What questions and concerns do you have, specifically relating to business events? Let us know by sending an email to pippa@independentwriting.co.za, and let’s start the conversation to figure out the best way to deal with this disease as responsibly as possible.

Click here to read the President’s full address.

Image is a new visualization of the Covid-19 virus, from Fusion Medical Animation via Unsplash.