DA calls for beaches to remain open over the festive season

SABC News beaches - DA calls for beaches to remain open over the festive season

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has called on government to keep beaches open, even as COVID-19 figures continue to rise.  The party’s spokesperson on Tourism, Manny de Freitas, says he understands that the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) might consider closing beaches over the festive season.

According to De Freitas, the hard lockdown earlier this year caused job losses of one million people in the tourism sector. He says closing beaches would worsen the situation.

“There is no doubt that the closing of beaches will further destruct the tourism sector. Particularly where coastal regions that are heavily reliant on people going to beaches and those areas during festive season. What government should be doing is to ensure those beaches are permitted to be used but at same time use protocols and social distancing.”

South Africa has recorded 8 319 New (COVID-19) cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases to 845 083.

The country has also recorded 205 new COVID-19 related fatalities, pushing the death toll to 22 952.

No plans to close the province’s beaches yet

On Friday, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala said talks were ongoing on whether beaches should remain open this festive.

Zikalala was launching operation Vala to ensure safety of citizens and holidaymakers during the festive season.

He said in order to curb the growing number of COVID-19 infections, there will be no major events around the province this festive.

“There will be no big events or major events hosted in the province, we are appealing to our people to host themselves as families and as relatives in their own space in their own home those who would be visiting our cities we would want them to enjoy themselves along the coast but without being crowded.”

Zikalala also revealed that they are currently consulting with the (NCCC) regarding beaches in various coastal cities in the province.

“The panic of in the hospitality sector we want to be clear we are not going to close people getting into hotels. We might not close beaches for people who will be walking around and doing things, but we are considering whether it will be good to allow people to go and swim and in that way we are also discussing whether we shouldn’t  impose more stricter measures during the holidays like your 16th,  your 26th, 25th, your 31st and the 1st, those are issues that are considered internally and that why we don’t want to pronounce now up until we finalise consultation with the National Command Council and the President.”

KZN Premier announce festive season holiday plans for the province:

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