When the risk-adjusted strategy to easing lockdown was first introduced in April, it was anticipated that the tourism sector would only be able to reopen at alert level 1, with limited operations permissible at alert level 2.

However, as South Africa moved to alert level 3 on Monday, 01 June, domestic tourism opened for business travel and other limited activities, including domestic air travel for business purposes.

This welcome progress is the result of a concerted effort by all industry stakeholders to de-risk the sector, through ongoing consultations and the development of health & operational protocols that promote the safety of all tourists and employees. (Access the protocols here.)

This rapid progress is the result of a concerted effort by all industry stakeholders to de-risk the sector.

South Africa’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has also been praised. By ‘flattening the curve’ and slowing the spread of infection, the government can responsibly allow more businesses to reopen.

The future movement to different lockdown levels will depend on the trajectory of the pandemic, and will be guided by the latest available data and our ability to put adequate safety and health measures in place. A press release by South African Tourism noted, “It is extremely important to understand that changes do happen on a regular basis. As such, the tourism sector phases of reopening are reviewed and revised regularly and updates can be found on www.southafrica.net.”

“It is extremely important to understand that changes do happen on a regular basis. As such, the tourism sector phases of reopening are reviewed and revised regularly.”

It is expected that domestic tourism and business travel will lead the recovery in South Africa. Regional and international (long-haul) travel will follow.