South African National Parks is preparing to recall its hospitality staff for a phased approach in the reopening of its overnight facilities. Parks are at present open for self-drives.

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“However, we urge those who cannot wait to book into our accommodation to exercise a bit of patience as SANParks readies itself for the reopening,” said SANParks CEO Fundisile Mketeni. The process of recalling staff in preparation for the reopening was still to commence.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Wednesday that accommodation providers can resume operations in alert level 3.

Mketeni said the this was good news for SANParks and many nature lovers who for the past three months had been yearning to visit their favourite national park.

He said SANParks would approach the opening of its accommodation facilities responsibly to ensure that the gains made by South Africa in curbing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic are not compromised.

“We will then immediately activate the re-training of staff on new operating protocols in line with industry standards.

“The safety of both staff and guests is critical and we have to ensure that we are in compliance with regard to regulations as well as health standards and protocols. We will announce the dates for the reopening of accommodation bookings in the next few days,” Mketeni said.