Following President Ramaphosa’s national address on 17 June 2020 which entailed a further reopening of the economy, the regulations guiding the advanced alert level 3 were published late last night (25 June 2020).
Areas of specific interest to the wine industry, which we have clarity on include:
- Alcohol trade for off-consumption is still permitted, and the trading hours remain the same as at the start of level 3 – Monday to Thursday, 09:00 – 17:00 (excluding public holidays).
- Restaurants may re-open for sit-down meals, however no on-site consumption of alcohol is allowed.
- The specific exclusion of on-site consumption of alcohol dictates that our tasting rooms may not re-open for wine tasting during advanced alert level 3.
- Personal care services including at winery spas may reopen under strict conditions.
- Conferences and meetings for business purposes may also resume, but are subject to a limitation of 50 persons.
- Museums, galleries including art galleries at wine businesses and cellars, libraries and archives may reopen.
- Theatres may reopen, subject to a limitation of 50 persons or less.
However, the following aspects have not been clearly defined in the regulations, which makes the interpretation thereof problematic:
- The specific guidelines, health protocols and distancing measures related to operating these facilities (for example restaurants), which will be issued by the Minister of Tourism at a later stage.
- Domestic travel for leisure purposes using road transport.
- Re-opening the accredited and licensed accommodation sector, excluding short-term home-sharing rental, for domestic leisure travel purposes.
- The date(s) for the re-opening of the additional tourism facilities.
Vinpro is working closely with our partners in the wine tourism and hospitality sectors to obtain clarification from Government on the aspects outlined above, as a matter of urgency.
Please also note that Tourism Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, will host a virtual media briefing this afternoon at 17:00 to outline the amendment to regulations for the advanced COVID-19 alert level 3 which impacts on the tourism sector, as well as an update on the intervention to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the tourism sector. Follow the briefing here.
Thank you for your commitment towards rebuilding our industry as we move through the respective levels, and for setting an example through safe and responsible actions and messaging on all levels of the wine industry value-chain. We undertake to provide an update on the above-mentioned as new information becomes available.