FEDHASA welcomes the issuing of the interim regulations which have changed the requirement for families with children. Children between the ages of five and 12 years no longer need to provide a negative PCR test when travelling to South Africa. The regulations now only require this from children over 12 years of age.
We are heartened that the Department appears to have listened to our industry’s calls for this regulation to be altered. Family travel being one of the pillars of inbound tourism to South Africa, this previous requirement had meant that SA had made itself unattractive to young families. With the removal thereof we trust that we can once again start rebuilding ourselves as a destination of choice for families, to help our industry recover.
We do however question the continuing requirement of reduced gathering sizes which are not based in science and mean that many of the international events we would host in South Africa will now simply not be viable, which will result in further job losses in our industry.
For any medium to long-term planning to take place and events business to be secured, we need certainty. Waiting another three months will mean that we will be losing many event opportunities during this time. Certainty is the one ingredient that is essential for our industry to survive and thrive.
We urge Government to lift the restrictions on event gathering sizes sooner than later and provide the certainty our industry requires to be able to be the job creator we could otherwise be.
We could be positioning South Africa as a leading meetings, incentives, conferencing, and events destination which would positively contribute towards alleviating the massive unemployment rate in our country, particularly the youth.
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