In the light of the rapid increase of the corona virus, also known as COVID-19 in various parts of the the country and following the pronouncement made by President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday, the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) would like to encourage local tourism businesses to ensure that their facilities have the necessary precautionary measures in place to minimize the infection.

The MTPA continues to work closely with South African Tourism as well as the health and safety authorities to monitor the situation and participation at various trade shows. 

At this stage, Reed Exhibitions Africa announced that the WTM Africa has been postponed to 2021. We will await a decision from SA Tourism on the planned trade show like Indaba scheduled to take place from 12 – 14 May in Durban. 

The Gert Sibande Liberation Route memorial lectures and music festival that were scheduled for March 28, 2020 as well as the Mpumalanga Pre-Easter Prayer and Gospel Festival that was scheduled for April 4, 2020 at the Mbombela Stadium will be postponed until further notice.

We are already experiencing cancellation of trips and meetings to some parts of the province, which will have a huge effect on the numbers of people visiting the province. We will continue to monitor the situation and be guided by the health and safety authorities. 

The MTPA has urgently undertaken steps to make provision for sanitizer dispensers in our various nature reserves and reception areas and to further ensure that our ablutions are serviced regularly and soap dispensers are maintained. These interventions will assist in ensuring that we maintain a hygienic environment for tourists visiting our attractions.

We would like to encourage our tourism businesses to continue to follow the basic precautionary measures put in place to minimize the infection and spread of the virus. We further encourage carrying of own pens to complete documentations by patrons visiting all tourism establishments or sanitizers should be used at all times after using common pens. 

For regular updates on COVID-19 visit the National Institute of Communicable Diseases on www.nicd.ac.za or contact the 24 hour hotline on 0800 029 999.

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