FEDHASA, the voice of hospitality in South Africa, has welcomed the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that the National Coronavirus Command Council is reconsidering whether to uphold the current National State of Disaster.
First imposed on 15 March 2020, the National State of Disaster has been renewed since then. It allows the government to impose curfews as well as restrictions on indoor and outdoor gatherings and on the dispensation of alcohol. These restrictions have had a severe adverse effect on the hospitality industry and has led to the closure of many businesses and the loss of many thousands of jobs.
“As an industry, we have always been sensitive to the fact that balancing lives and livelihoods is a difficult task,” says Rosemary Anderson, FEDHASA National Chair.
“We understand that sacrifices had to be made to curb to spread of the pandemic. However, the hospitality industry can’t continue to be switched on and off to stem the spread of COVID,” adds Anderson. “There has to be a more sustainable route to follow, which does not cause more harm than the pandemic itself.”
“The hospitality sector has largely borne the brunt of changing lockdown regulations, despite putting in place stringent health and hygiene protocols.
“FEDHASA calls on the Government to look at scientific evidence to rather control the spread of COVID and lift the National State of Disaster. This will assist in providing confidence for our international tourists and encourage them to visit our shores and start to rebuild that sector of tourism that was devastated by not only the restrictions, but by South Africa’s red listing by so many countries”.
FEDHASA would like to encourage citizens to comply with COVID protocols and to get vaccinated to avoid COVID limiting operations. It is the only way to restore some form of normality in our lives,” concludes Anderson.