Garden Route 'needs tourists' despite COVID-19 spike

Almost three-quarters of the Western Cape's COVID-19 cases, outside the metro, are in the Garden Route. Hospitals there are under severe pressure with 98 healthcare workers currently ill with the virus. Tourism in the region has suffered enormous economic losses and the sector's urging holidaymakers not to cancel their plans. Nadine Theron reports. Courtesy #DStv403

GEORGE - Almost three-quarters of the Western Cape’s COVID-19 cases outside the metro are in the Garden Route. 

Hospitals there are under severe pressure, with 98 healthcare workers currently ill with the virus.

George, which has the most cases outside Cape Town, has closed its public areas and cancelled sports events as a safety measure. 

Tourism in the region has suffered enormous economic losses and the sector's urging holidaymakers not to cancel their plans

READ: COVID-19 in SA: Holidaymakers put plans on hold

Thembalethu on the outskirts of town is the biggest hotspot.

Pacaltsdorp, Parkdene, Rosemore, Borcherds and Blanco are also areas of major concern.

George airport is the only one in the country where healthcare workers screen all departing passengers, and they will stay at their posts throughout December. 

READ: Winde: More lockdowns to be avoided at all costs

"We do not envision the airport to close. We are keeping the airport open because we have taken all the necessary measures," said Brenda Vorster, airport manager.

Guesthouses and hotels have been overwhelmed by calls from worried tourists wanting to cancel their holidays.

But Western Cape, Premier Alan Winde says tourists are welcome to visit the area, providing they adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols.

* eNCA's Nadine Theron reports.

Source
eNCA

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