Johannesburg, 14 December 2020 – FEDHASA condemns in the strongest terms irresponsible behaviour by hospitality establishments and consumers over the Festive Season which may contribute to the increased spread of COVID-19.

This comes following a video circulating on social media allegedly taken this weekend at a Cape Town restaurant where COVID-19 protocols appear to have been flagrantly flouted.

“The Tourism and Hospitality sector has worked incredibly hard to devise and institute robust health and hygiene protocols to safeguard our staff and guests. The blatant disregard for these, as evidenced in the social media video, not only puts patrons and anyone with whom they’re likely to be in contact at risk, it also jeopardises the reputation and continued operations of the entire industry which, by and large, is committed to complying properly,” explains Rosemary Anderson, chairperson FEDHASA.

Anderson says it is unconscionable that the irresponsible actions of a small number of establishments and patrons who disregard the protocols will threaten the jobs of staff in an industry that has already suffered greatly under the COVID-19 lockdowns.

“We have done the right thing by instituting very strict protocols under the banner of the Tourism Business Council of South Africa’s Travel Safe Eat Safe. There can be no excuse for taking an already beleaguered industry backwards by putting at risk both livelihoods and lives because of a few hours of senseless fun.

“FEDHASA condemns these irresponsible actions outright and calls on hospitality establishments and guests and patrons to adhere strictly to the Travel Safe Eat Safe protocols so that our businesses can continue operating and we can save jobs,” says Anderson.

To that end, the association, which represents the interests of South Africa’s hospitality sector, will launch its #maskupMzansi campaign this week, appealing to customers of hospitality establishments to do the right thing and help tourism and hospitality businesses to adhere to the protocols.

“For those establishments which continue to flout the rules, there is the possibility of losing your liquor licence, being held liable or even closure. And for consumers, who are committed to keeping each other safe and helping our hospitality industry recover, we ask you to vote with your feet and report any incidences of non-compliance through the Travel Safe Eat Safe mobile app, so that as an industry we may show our commitment to keeping South Africa safe in times of COVID and beyond,” concludes Anderson.