- New regulations are now in place to allow overnight stays, just for fun, in a hotel, lodge, bed and breakfast, timeshare, resort, or guest house.
- Not on that list – and still specifically banned – are home-sharing services such as Airbnb.
- Some resorts, including Sun City, won’t reopen, because they aren’t financially viable while they aren’t allowed to host people from other provinces, owners say.
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It’s official: under a change to lockdown regulations formally published late on Friday, you can sleep in some places other than your own home again, just for fun, as long as you don’t cross a provicial boundary to get there.
The new rules add « persons utilizing such facilities for intra-provincial leisure purposes » to the list of permitted reasons for accommodation establishments to be open. But that only applies to a specified list of operations: « hotels, loges, bed and breakfasts, timeshare facilities and resorts and guest houses ».
Not included are Airbnb-style rentals. In fact, those are specifically banned, in the dwindling list of economic activities that remain illegal: « short term home-sharing/letting/leasing/rental ».
« Preventing individuals and families from renting a private self-catering unit but allowing them to congregate with large groups in hotels and hostels defies logic and is impossible to reconcile with public health concerns, » said Airbnb’s country manager in a statement.
« We respectfully hope that the government will reconsider this decision, which will hurt local families, livelihoods and communities. »
Not all accommodation establishments that can open will open.
« Some of our properties such as the Wild Coast Sun and Golden Valley Casino in Worcester are very dependent on out of town visitors., » said Graham Wood, Sun International group COO for hospitality, in a statement.
« Unfortunately, resorts such as Sun City will have to remain closed until inter provincial travel can resume. »
All tourist attractions must also remain closed under the new rules – except for in-province visitors that can drive themselves or who join a guided tour.
(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)
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