Environment, forestry and fisheries minister Barbara Creecy has clarified uncertainty regarding overnight accommodation for hunters during level 3 lockdown.
Creecy said hunters are allowed to sleep over at their hunting destinations within the province in which they reside.
The minister said her department was amending directions for the biodiversity sector to align with last week’s announcement by tourism minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane.
The tourism minister implemented four changes to lockdown regulations to ease restrictions on the tourism sector.
“Permitting hunters to sleep over at their hunting destinations, within the province in which they live, is in line with this week’s cabinet decision to ease restrictions around leisure travel,” said Creecy.
Creecy said her department saw it fit to amend the directions to remain within the framework of regulations published in terms of the Disaster Management Act. The updated amendments will be published soon.
“In light of the announcement by the minister of tourism that people will be allowed to, among others, leave their homes for leisure purposes within their province of residence, the department of environment, forestry and fisheries is, therefore, amending the directions for the biodiversity sector to align with such,” said Creecy.
Last week, Creecy announced that SA’s botanical gardens in all eight provinces would open from Monday, but “for exercise purposes only”.
She said reopening the botanical gardens “will allow those who frequent them for exercise to again enjoy the privilege”.
However, access to and use of the gardens is subject to strict Covid-19 health protocols that prohibit social gathering, picnics and public events.
“Business conferences and meetings limited to 50 people, excluding those who participate via electronic platforms, may be allowed under controlled conditions outlined in government regulations that promote health protocols for such gatherings,” said Creecy.
She said daily access to the gardens would be monitored, and limited once the safe carrying capacity for the area has been reached.
“All visitors will be required to wear cloth face masks, be temperature screened, and complete a tracing register. Gate opening and closing hours will be strictly adhered to,” she said.
What remains closed:
According to amended lockdown rules published last Wednesday, zoos, aquaria, animal rehabilitation facilities and sanctuaries that are normally open to the public remain closed.