Feverish hypothesis on the potential of a brand new lockdown is compounding the impression of international authorities journey restrictions and vacation reserving cancellations on the tourism and hospitality trade.
This was the phrase from Restaurant Association of South Africa (RASA) CEO Wendy Alberts who on Friday known as on the federal government to urgently pay compensation for the roles which have been lost, the companies which have closed and the injury that the arduous lockdowns have brought about to the financial system.
“Government needs to take accountability and stop absconding their responsibility to protect the economy and have prepared the healthcare industry to avoid further lockdowns – that was the reason for lockdown some two years ago,” Alberts stated,
She stated the sector had performed its half in supporting all of the well being directives and protocols together with taking temperatures, sporting of face masks, sanitising, and social distancing.
“We have increased outdoor capacity, brought education, initiated vaccination drives and remodelled our restaurants. We have an A plus for ensuring health and safety of our staff and patrons are always of our highest priority,” Alberts stated.
“The reason for lock down was to prepare the health care system and to ensure sufficient beds were available. They closed the field hospitals and have not reopened them through any wave,” Alberts stated.
She stated the dialogue wanted to shift from “pure reactive panicking to reactive planning and learning to keep the economy open” and to stay with a illness that was not going anyplace quickly.
“The President needs to lead and give clarity on its position on vaccine mandates and passports and to do everything possible limit the damage, or another threat of a hard lockdown,” she stated.
She stated the alarming rate of improve within the variety of Covid-19 infections within the temporary interval because the detection of the Omicron variant has been accompanied by mounting hypothesis that the federal government will impose a brand new lockdown.
Holiday bookings in danger due to lockdown fears
“This is causing thousands of South Africans to rethink or cancel their plans for the upcoming holidays, opening up the illicit trade to benefit off the possible restrictions,” Alberts stated.
“This is all coming off on high of worldwide journey restrictions and bans imposed by quite a few international governments for travellers coming back from our area. This is having a devastating impact on the tourism and hospitality trade, as bookings are cancelled each day.
“The economic cost of lockdowns, and especially their impact on our sector, has been horrific, and this is evidenced by the record unemployment rate of 34.9%,” Alberts stated.
“Despite having experienced some of the harshest measures in the world, we have suffered one of the highest mortality rates from Covid-19,” she stated.
“Talk of further lockdown restrictions is utterly misplaced in the context of the economic and jobs bloodbath that previous measures have caused, and the fact that hospitals are not yet under significant pressure,” Alberts stated.
“We appeal to the president to not impose lockdowns on the South African economy and to win the hearts of fellow South Africans by protecting the economy employment our people and our beautiful country,” she stated.