Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis has taken it upon himself to request the ease of lockdown restrictions, specifically with gatherings. He feels that the current state Covid-19 cases are under control enough so that bigger gatherings can help restart the economy again.
Cape Town Mayor had two specific requests
According to Mayor Hill-Lewis, there are two specific requests he would like to see change as to “restart the economy”:
- The 50% capacity rule for any outdoor public facilites (such as public swimming pools) should be lifted.
- Spectators should be allowed to return to major sporting events (such as the ongoign India-South Africa cricket tour).
At the current state of level 1 regulations, the number of people allowed at indoor gatherings is 1 000, and 2 000 for outdoor events.
And in the case where a venue can’t accommodate this amount of people with social distancing, it is then limited to 50% of its usual capacity.
“As the summer peak season gets into full gear, and the latest Omicron variant of Covid-19 proves to have less of a negative impact than the previous Delta variant, the resumption of public entertainment and sporting events should be a priority for aiding economic recovery,” Hill-Lewis said.
Hill-Lewis believes Cape Town can safely handle large events
Mayor Hill-Lewis further pointed out that he believes that the City of Cape Town has proven that it can safely manage large events whilst still adhering to the Covid-19 protocols.
“Since October last year, we have hosted the Cycle Tour, the ABSA Cape Epic, Miss SA, the Cape Town Marathon and the FNB One Run among others. All of these are high-profile and large events hosted successfully during a pandemic. In all of these cases, we can provide data to show that the number of infections from the respective event has been very low.”
And because of the past safe events, he feels that the capacity restrictions should be dropped when it comes to sporting events.
“With a large number of Cape Town residents vaccinated, adhering to mask-wearing where required, it is possible to safely return to having spectators at sports events, as can be seen at stadiums and events all over the world.
“The SA v India cricket matches currently taking place in Cape Town, as well as rugby and football matches scheduled to take place at the Newlands and DHL stadiums, will benefit from crowds in the stands cheering on their teams.”
To end his request, he pointed out that the crowds at sporting events support the livelihoods of many small businesses and vendors.
President Ramaphosa has yet to respond.