FEDHASA has welcomed the announcement by the National Coronavirus Command Council maintaining South Africa at Level 1 saying restrictions would have exacerbated the damage caused by the UK’s Red Listing.
“This is exceptionally good news for our tourism and hospitality industry, allowing us to maximise the Festive Season albeit trading in the height of a fourth wave, a challenging economic environment and the negative ramifications of the recent Omicron travel bans,” says Rosemary Anderson, National Chair FEDHASA, the voice of hospitality in South Africa.
FEDHASA has also extended its thanks to Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu for the part she played in representing the interests of the tourism and hospitality in government discussions.
“This has been a good week for our tourism and hospitality sector. Not only will the removal of the UK red listing be the foundation on which we can rebuild, we are relieved that additional restrictions have not been imposed locally which would have hampered domestic travel during what is one of our peak travel periods,” Anderson adds.
“We hope that the impact of Omicron on hospitalisation and deaths remains low so that our economy can continue to remain open and keep jobs and livelihoods intact.”
FEDHASA has added its voice to Health Minister Joe Phaahla’s appeal to South Africans to get vaccinated as a matter of priority so that we can keep hospitalisation rates low and keep pressure off our healthcare system, which is why restrictions are put in place in the first place.
“We must do everything in our power to keep our economy as open as possible. It’s up to every South African to protect their fellow citizens using the tools we have at our disposal beyond additional restrictions, such as socialising outside, consistently practicing the non-pharmaceutical protocols and getting vaccinated. We know these measures work and will make every difference to keeping restrictions at bay,” Anderson says.
FEDHASA’s wish for South Africans this festive season is for balance to be restored. “We want our citizens to enjoy their lives safely and responsibly and for them to spend valuable time with their loved ones. Lastly, we hope that 2022 will bring job stability for those who work in our tourism and hospitality sector which has borne the brunt of restrictions since March 2020. We thank every South African for their support in our sector,” Anderson concludes.