COVID-19 Q&A: Wine tourism

by | Mar 21, 2020 | Covid-19

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a National State of Disaster on Sunday 15 March 2020, pertaining to the global outbreak of COVID-19. Th collective wine tourism platform for South African wine routes and wineries, Visitwinelands.co.za shares the following information.

Q: What are South African wineries doing to keep their staff and visitors safe?

South African wineries are doing their part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Strict safety and hygiene measures are in place.

  • Look out for sanitation stations or facilities as you enter our tasting rooms and restaurants.
  • We’re creating social distance. Our tables and tasting bar place settings have been spaced 2 metres apart.
  • Our team members are informed on the coronavirus and complying with strict hygiene practices.
  • We have access to alcohol-based hand sanitiser and hand-washing facilities.
  • Surfaces and objects are disinfected and kept clean at all times.
  • Our special events have been postponed.
  • We’re happy to see you but can’t hug you or shake your hand.
  • Team members who appear symptomatic are at home self-isolating.
  • If you need to postpone your winelands holiday, talk to us. We’re here to help you in this uncertain time, to be flexible and to ensure that we all remain #tourismstrong.
  • We’re working wine farms – enjoy our wide open spaces like gardens and hiking trails if you need some air.

Q: Which legislation is wineries adhering to to curb the spread of COVID-19?

The Disaster Management Act Regulation 8 governs the sale and consumption of alcohol during a State of Disaster.

Please note that the hours of wine and all alcohol sales have been reduced by the Government as an additional measure to curb the spread of the virus. The hours of liquor sales are as follows:

  • 9.00 to 18.00 Monday to Saturday
  • 9.00 to 13.00 on Sundays and all Public Holidays like Saturday, 21 March 2020

All liquor, whether open, closed, finished or unfinished must be removed from the tables by 18.00 and 13.00 respectively.

Q: How have wineries been affected by COVID-19?

Several South African wineries had exposure to members of a tour group who have since tested positive for COVID-19 and have temporarily closed.

The closure of winery restaurants and tasting rooms are precautionary measures aiming to limit the spread of COVID-19. A few wineries who did not have contact with the tour group have also closed for varying periods of time.

Find a list here of the wineries that have notified Visit Winelands of their closure. We recommend that visitors check the opening times of their favourite winery online or telephonically before heading out for a glass of wine and a breath of fresh air.

Q: Which handy resources are available to wineries?

SA Department of Health Corona Resource Portal
National Institute for Communicable Diseases FAQ
Southern African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) Corona Virus Update
Visit Stellenbosch Corona Virus FAQ
Visit Winelands – tips & updates for visitors to the winelands, as well as wineries

SATSA’s comprehensive FAQ document  and a general infographic that wineries can circulate to their teams.

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