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National gardens reopen under strict health protocols

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Members of the public will once again be able to access the country’s botanical gardens to exercise as of the 3rd of August 2020.

Permission to access the area for exercise purposes only was published in the Amended Directions for the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries in Government Gazette 43564 (Notice No. 822) on 28 July 2020.

“The gardens have been closed to the public for four months. Reopening the gardens will allow those who frequent for exercise to enjoy the privilege. Any access and use are subject to strict COVID-19 health protocols,” Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries, Barbara Creecy, said on Thursday.

The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) manages the country’s 11 botanical gardens across eight provinces - each representing South Africa’s rich biodiversity. 

While physical exercising will be allowed, other social gatherings, picnics and public events are still prohibited. 

Commercial facilities such as restaurants situated in the gardens have been allowed to open under alert level 3, subject to prescribed regulations for the respective areas of business.

“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,” the Minister said.

Furthermore, daily access to the gardens will be monitored and limited, and restrictions will be implemented once the safe carrying capacity for the area has been reached. 

All visitors will be required to wear face masks, be temperature screened, and complete a tracing register.

Gate opening and closing hours will be strictly adhered to. 

 

Tourism minister Kubayi-Ngubane is scheduled to brief the media on Level 3 Regulations for the Tourism Sector at 14:00 this afternoon.

The minister will host the virtual media briefing on the country’s tourism-related activities under Risk-Adjusted level 3, provides an update on the Tourism Relief Fund and the Relief fund for Tourist Guides.

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