FEDHASA has welcomed the Presidential address that confirmed shorter curfew hours and the lifting of the outright ban on alcohol sales, bringing great relief to a hospitality sector which has borne the brunt of heightened restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID.

“We are thrilled with tonight’s announcement that the restrictions are being eased, which paves the way for hospitality businesses to be able to operate in a financially viable environment.

“The lengthy curfew hours and ban on alcohol, restriction on numbers and closing of major tourist attractions, including beaches, meant it was simply no longer feasible for many businesses to continue to trade and this has led to so many businesses in the hospitality industry closing during these additional restrictions,” says Rosemary Anderson, FEDHASA national chairperson.

Similarly, the further announcement of the reopening of beaches bodes well for the accommodation and restaurant sectors in coastal areas. “Sadly, the peak festive season trading was lost for many, however we remain hopeful that South Africans will support their hospitality sector, knowing how many people depend on it for their livelihoods. We trust that they will do so responsibly so that their patronage is the lifeline many hospitality companies have been holding desperately on for,” says Anderson.

While the restrictions have been eased, the hospitality sector continues to operate with robust health and hygiene protocols to safeguard staff and guests. “We have worked incredibly hard to devise and institute these protocols. Our industry is committed to complying fully and properly with the Tourism Business Council of South Africa’s Travel Safe Eat Safe protocols,” explains Anderson.

“We urge our patrons and guests to help us remain open by adhering strictly to the protocols so that our businesses can continue operating and we can secure the jobs that the industry supports as well as hopefully regain jobs that have been lost.

“We are so delighted by our President’s announcement, as well as the update on the additional securing of vaccines. Our hospitality industry will not survive another lockdown. We need the vaccine programme to be rolled out throughout the country urgently,” concludes Anderson.

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News Round UpJamie Sutherland