South Africa

Thought you could stay overnight at accommodation? Shem, no

Thought you could stay overnight at accommodation? Shem, no

You cannot can't travel or stay at overnight accommodation for leisure purposes during lockdown level 3.

The government has corrected its gaffe about overnight stays for leisure purposes, stating this was still prohibited.

Here is what you need to know:

What the president said

Over the past few weeks, there has been confusion about whether leisure travel is allowed under level 3.

On June 17, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced accredited and licensed accommodation, along with sit-in restaurants, cinemas, theatres, casinos, personal care services and non-contact sports would be opened.

The return of accommodation, however, did not include Airbnb services.

Approved and later backtracking 

On June 25, following Ramaphosa's address, co-operative governance & traditional affairs (Cogta) minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma published a new directive, outlining that “a person may leave his or her place of residence to travel for leisure purposes as allowed under alert level 3".

However, a day later tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane said travel for leisure purposes was not permitted.

During her address, Kubayi-Ngubane said self-drives in game parks were permitted within the province in which a person resides, but no overnight stays in hotels, lodges, bed and breakfast establishments, home stay or any types of accommodation will be permitted for leisure travellers.

An 'error'

On Friday, the presidency published an infographic indicating that leisure travel and an overnight stay was allowed under lockdown Level 3 as long as visitors stay within their provinces.

The post was circulated on social media and welcomed by the Western Cape government, saying: “This means is families who live in the province can now spend a weekend away at their favourite getaway spot, and enjoy the best that the Western Cape has to offer while doing so safely and responsibly.”

However, by Saturday the post was deleted. According to the presidency, the infographic had an error.

“We picked up an error in the previous graphic which suggested that accommodation for leisure travel was permitted. This is not the case,” it wrote on Twitter.

In the latest gazette

A gazette signed by Dlamini-Zuma and made public on Sunday confirmed that leisure travel was prohibited.

The following are prohibited for leisure purposes;

  • Hotels
  • Lodges 
  • Bed and breakfasts
  • Timeshare facilities
  • Resorts and guesthouses
  • Short-term home-sharing/letting/leasing/rental
  • Domestic passenger air travel and passenger ships.