Rediscover Durban safely this festive season
eThekwini Municipality believes local and domestic citizens have the power to reignite the tourism sector but must do so safely and responsibly, starting this festive season.
“Despite restrictions on major events, Durbanites and other visitors can take in an array of safe, authentic, affordable and Covid-19 compliant tourism options, including many hidden gems in and around our award-winning city,” says eThekwini Mayor, Councillor Mxolisi Kaunda.
The majority of establishments have implemented strict health and safety measures aligned with guidelines from the Department of Health, the National Institute for Communicable Disease (NICD), the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA), World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and World Health Organization (WHO), as well as health and safety regulations.
These include stringent cleaning, reconfiguring facilities to comply with social distancing requirements, temperature checks, complimentary hand washing and sanitising at strategic high-touch points. Also available are contactless payment methods, helpful signage and health screening procedures for patrons, employees, suppliers and more.
“It is the responsibility of individual operators and patrons to play their part in complying with Covid-19 safety protocols. eThekwini Municipality has, however, partnered with other authorities and law enforcement bodies to provide support in upholding compliance. This will help to ensure that we can keep this important sector open, while enabling residents and visitors to continue to enjoy happy and healthy city experiences,” says Mayor Kaunda.
There are numerous appealing tourism and leisure options in and around the City besides the popular Golden Mile, such as nature reserves and parks, green spaces, adventure destinations, hiking trails, local museums, water parks and outdoor play areas. Other outdoor options include restaurants, markets and strip malls, as well as destinations further off the beaten track – all offering fresh air, wide open spaces and some of the City’s best-kept secrets.
Durban Tourism has the following safety tips for holidaymakers:
1. Stay Covid-19 compliant.
Continue to observe the basic protocols, like social distancing of at least 1.5 metres, wearing cloth face masks in public, hand washing and covering your nose and mouth with a flexed elbow or disposable tissue when coughing and sneezing. Adhere to the City’s curfew and avoid any travel and socialising if feeling unwell.
2. Enquire about an establishment’s Covid-19 protocols ahead of time.
South Africa boasts the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Global Safety Stamp of Approval as a destination based on industry-designed protocols. You can still check the specific measures in place at your local destination or establishment, either by calling ahead or checking their website or social media.
3. Respect your establishment’s guidelines.
Remember, these protocols are in place to protect you and those around you. It isn’t worth flouting regulations or trying to take shortcuts. Many establishments will also require you to share your contact details – this remains confidential and is important to ensure quick contact tracing in the event of any Covid-19 exposure.
4. Support local tourism and hospitality enterprises wherever possible.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) predicts that the international tourism economy will fall by around 80 percent in 2020, but it is domestic tourism that will drive short term recovery and help to re-ignite the sector. Local and domestic tourism sustains livelihoods, so try to support tourism small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) wherever possible.
5. Most importantly, assess what you are comfortable with, while taking care not to endanger others.
Even ordinary people can support this crucial sector safely and responsibly, by accepting a mutual duty of care when out and about this holiday.
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Unit. For media enquiries contact the Municipality’s Spokesperson, Msawakhe Mayisela on 060 966 4220.
About Durban Tourism
Durban Tourism is a department with the Business Support, Tourism and Markets Unit of eThekwini Municipality. Its role is to promote and position the coastal city of Durban as a premium and world-class tourism destination for domestic and international tourism markets, whilst facilitating economic development and job creation for the benefit of all the people of the Metropolitan region.