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Tourist attractions across SA to be closed

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You have an obligation to be responsible and protect South Africans and tourists themselves - Minister

Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane

CAPE TOWN – Tourism Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane on Tuesday has instructed that tourist attractions across the country be closed following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of a national lockdown from midnight on Thursday to curb the spread of Covid-19.

“We are saying to tour operators and tour guides, you have an obligation to be responsible and protect South Africans and tourists themselves,” the minister said.

Speaking at an inter-ministerial briefing in Pretoria, Kubayi-Ngubane said tourists departing the country would be subjected to testing for coronavirus at three airports, the OR Tambo International, Cape Town and Durban, as of Tuesday afternoon.

Kubayi-Ngubane advised that tourists plan for an extra hour at the airport for exit testing.

“We are appealing to tourists who are leaving to make some extra time to be processed before you get to immigration, we want to make sure that as a sector we can be seen as responsible,” she said.

She has appealed to tour operators and tour guides to act responsibly so that there is no incidence where a tourist tests positive for Covid-19 but continues to tour the country.

“We have been able to interact with the sector and we are receiving cooperation,” the minister said.

International flights to Lanseria Airport will be temporarily suspended. International travellers who arrive in South Africa after 9 March from high-risk countries will be confined to their hotels until they have completed a 14-day quarantine.

She said her department would be assisting small businesses in the tourism sector affected by the lockdown. Under the lockdown announced by the president, South Africans will be required to stay at home from midnight on Thursday.