Lockdown regulations do not require closing of public or private accommodation facilities


Since announcement of the latest lockdown regulations, it has come to Sakeliga’s attention that some caravan parks, campsites, and possibly other places of holiday accommodation are under the impression that they are required or encouraged to close. Sakeliga wishes to stress that there is no such requirement in the regulations, nor are such closures even necessarily permitted.

Legal representatives have offered Sakeliga the following counsel on the proper interpretation of the regulations regarding travel, accommodation, and residence. We have also been advised on certain remedies available to holidaymakers who are adversely affected by an unrequired closure of accommodation, for example the abrupt closure of municipal caravan parks such as in Cederberg Local Municipality.

The limitation on the movement of persons only applies during the curfew between 21h00 and 06h00. The public and specifically holidaymakers remain free to travel outside of the curfew, without permits. For the purposes of the curfew, holidaymakers should deem their holiday accommodation (even if situated on a camping site) to be their residence. The regulations do not require persons to be confided to their ordinary or permanent residences.

It is important to note that the regulations do not mandate the closing of any accommodation facilities (be it public or private). Accommodation facilities do not fall within the ambit of recreational facilities and have not been closed. Accommodation facilities falling within the boundaries of national parks and municipal camp sites have also not been closed and municipalities and other branches of government are required to keep occupied facilities open. The amended regulations do not require or give authority to other branches of government to summarily evict holidaymakers from their holiday accommodation or otherwise terminate their bookings. The repudiation of accommodation bookings by the state will be unlawful and the public is encouraged to seek legal assistance to either enforce their contracts with the state, alternatively to recoup their damages. It is interesting to note that holidaymakers will enjoy specific protection against unlawful termination of bookings and eviction under regulations 37 and 38 of the lockdown regulations.

The amended alert level 3 regulations do not affect the use of private holiday resorts, private recreational facilities, private dams, reserves, restaurants, hotels, or camping sites. These businesses are required to adhere to the health and safety regulations (subject only to the limitation on gatherings which might apply to certain events).